is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile. Pure nickel shows a significant chemical activity that can be observed when nickel is powdered to maximize the exposed surface area on which reactions can occur, but larger pieces of the metal are slow to react with air at ambient conditions due to the formation of a protective oxide surface. Nickel: Among the base metals exploited in Zimbabwe, nickel dominates in terms of value. National production only peaked at 12 000 tonnes annually in 1999, but current production has fallen significantly largely due the adverse prices as well as the effects of retrogressive policies at play in the recent past. Production comes from several mines located on the greenstone belt and from PGM mining operations, as a by-product. With two operational nickel smelting and refining facilities, and favourable geological conditions for the existence of nickel deposits, investment into this area is encouraged. Nickel yields cobalt as a by-product.