Geology and Economic Potential of Ni Deposits

  • Ömer ElitokEmail author
  • Metin Tavlan
Part of the Modern Approaches in Solid Earth Sciences book series (MASE, volume 16)


Magmatic sulphide and laterite deposits are the two major sources of the nickel metal in the world. Although the sulphide deposits have been operated since historic times, recently discovered laterite deposits are taking over the majority of the world’s nickel production.

Nickel laterites are the supergene weathering products of ultramafic rocks under tropical climatic conditions. Apart from the modern laterites still forming along the equatorial zones, there are fossil laterites in the world, which formed when climate was favourable. Turkey has now a mild temperate climate but the Tethyan ophiolites in Turkey have been weathered to form at least ten lateritic nickel occurrences from Cretaceous to Miocene.

Nickel laterite occurrences in Turkey have a Fe-oxide dominated mineralogy and average 1–1.5% nickel grade. Although none of them is a world-class deposit there are still large-scale investments in deposits containing 20–30 million tonnes of nickel ore. On the other hand, smaller deposits showing favourable grades have been operated for the direct ore shipment purposes to feed Fe-Ni smelters in China and Eastern Europe. Run-of-mine nickel production of Turkey between 2005 and 2014 is nearly 1.5 million tonnes according to General Directorate of Mining Affairs.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringSüleyman Demirel UniversityIspartaTurkey
  2. 2.Lyons Cement Plant, CEMEX Construction MaterialsDenverUSA

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