Because of its greater hardness and tensile strength than carbon steel, nickel steel is used in the manufacture of armoured plates; motor cars etc. metallic nickel is used in the construction of certain storage batteries and as a catalyst for the hydro generation of hardening of fats and oils intended for soaps and ghee. When copper is alloyed with nickel and zinc, German silver is obtained.
Production and Distribution:
The total estimated conditional resources of nickel ore are 188.7 million tonnes located in Orissa (174.48 million tonnes) and Jharkhand (9 million tonnes).
Lately nickel ore has been found in small but significant proportion associated with uranium ore in Singhbhum, Nickel is recovered as by-product in the form of nickel sulphate during smelting of copper at Gnatsila Copper Smelter of HCL.
Jammu and Kashmir:
Impregnations of nickeliferous iron sulphides and arsenide’s are seen in the vicinity of Ramsu. The mineralized zone is over 5 kms long and 165 m broad.
Traces of nickel are known in the lateritic soil and rocks associated with ultra basic rocks of Byrapur chromite belt in Hassan districts as well as the nickeliferrous ferrous pyrrholite and chalcopyrite in the auriferous quartz-reef of Kolar. These are of no economic value.
Nickeliferrous pyrrholite and chalcopyrite occur in the auriferous quartz-reefs of the state but not of sufficient magnitude to support mining operations.
In the ophilite belt of the Tuensang districts of Nagaland, about 4.45 million tonnes of conditional resources of nickel or containing 0.63 per cent of nickel content have been estimated.
Conditional resources of nickel ore are estimated at Cuttack, Kendujhar and Mayurbhanj districts of Orissa.
A sulphide of cobalt and nickel is found in the famous copper mines of Khetri-Jaipur region though of insignificant quantities.