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Nickel

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The province of Ontario is responsible for all the nickel produced in Canada. The greater portion is extracted from the nickeliferous pyrrhotite of the Sudbury district, which was discovered during the construction of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1886. It is now an established fact that Canadian nickel production, which is over 21,000,000 pounds per year, practically controls the market of the world ; for the Sudbury district alone produces more than one-half of the- world's output. There are, at present, two large companies working the Sudbury deposits, viz., the Canadian Copper Company, and the Mond Nickel Company. An idea of the importance of this industry may be gathered from the fact that these two companies alone give employment to about 1,700 men, and that the nickel is extracted from about 350,000 tons of ore mined per year. The deposits of nickeliferous pyrrhotite of Sudbury are of great magnitude, and promise a supply of ore for many years to come. Their only serious rival in the nickel market of the world is New Caledonia.

The Sudbury ores are also copper-bearing, and, as previously mentioned, are responsible, at present, for the total production of copper from the province of Ontario. The ore is roasted and smelted, and the resulting product of matte treated in a Bessemer furnace, making a bessemerized matte containing about forty per cent. nickel, and a like percentage, or less, of copper. This is sent to the United States for the final extraction of the metals.

Lately the Cobalt district has attracted attention as a nickel producer. The silver-bearing ores of this region contain a notable proportion of nickel, which is saved in the smelting of the ores. In 1907 the reported production of nickel metal from this source was 370 tons.

Other places in Canada where the presence of nickel-bearing minerals has been reported: are Calumet Island, province of Quebec ; Bolton township, province of Quebec ; and St. Stephen, New Brunswick ; but it is doubtful if these occurrences will prove of commercial value.



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