nickel west, australia, mining

Nickel West

Nickel West is a part of our Minerals Australia business, with its various locations around WA situated on the traditional lands of the Tijwarl and Wiluna, Untiri Pulka, Ngadju, the Traditional Owners of Kalgoorlie and Gnarla Karla Boodja peoples.

Nickel West at a glance

Nickel West is a fully integrated mine-to-market business operating in various locations across Western Australia. All nickel operations including our open-cut and underground mines, concentrators, smelter and refinery are located in Western Australia. The integrated business adds value throughout our nickel supply chain, with the majority of Nickel West’s current production sold as powder and briquettes.
85%Over 85% of our nickel is sold to global battery material suppliers.
2,500Nickel West operations employ over 2,500 people.
40kgA lithium-ion battery for an electric car contains 40kg of nickel.

Nickel West is the world's leading nickel supplier to the battery metals market. Our nickel is essential to a decarbonising world and Nickel West has a global advantage in the sustainable production of nickel.

Low-grade disseminated sulphide ore is mined from Mt Keith, a large open-pit operation, while high-grade nickel sulphide ore is mined at Cliffs and Leinster underground mines The ore is processed through two large concentrators and dryers at Mt Keith and Leinster. Nickel West’s concentrator plant in Kambalda processes ore and concentrate purchased from third parties.

The three streams of nickel concentrate come together at the Nickel West Kalgoorlie smelter, a vital part of our integrated business. The smelter uses a flash furnace to smelt concentrate to produce nickel matte.

Nickel West Kwinana then refines granulated nickel matte from the Kalgoorlie smelter into premium-grade nickel powder and briquettes containing 99.8 per cent nickel. 

Nickel powder is further processed into nickel sulphate at Australia’s first nickel sulphate plant, co-located at the Kwinana Nickel Refinery. Nickel sulphate is an essential ingredient in the lithium-ion batteries that drive electric cars. 

Nickel metal and nickel sulphate is exported to overseas markets via the Port of Fremantle.

BHP supplies high quality nickel to world markets for use in electric vehicle batteries and other growing technologies that will support global decarbonisation. 

We are taking great strides in making our operations more sustainable and strengthening BHP’s position as a nickel supplier of choice to global customers.
In FY21 and FY22, Nickel West delivered three major renewable power purchase agreements:

Nickel West is also trialling electric vehicles underground, including a Toyota Light vehicle and an electric Normet charge wagon.


NickelWestglove 2021


Nickel is a naturally occurring metallic element that’s a key ingredient in stainless steel and major component in the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles.