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Russia’s Nornickel to expand sustainable battery metals production in Europe

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(Kitco News) - Russia’s Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum, cobalt and copper, today announced plans to ramp up output at its state-of-the-art nickel refinery in Finland.

According to the company’s statement, Nornickel Harjavalta is mainly powered by renewable energy and is a world-class specialist in the hydrometallurgical production of high purity nickel with the most extensive nickel product portfolio in Europe.

The company said that the plan to increase capacity is driven by growing European market demand for battery raw materials responsibly produced with one of the lowest carbon footprint in the industry.

Nornickel noted that this move is in line with the group’s strategy to ensure a global shift to a greener economy while being green itself. The factory meets the most stringent EU sustainability requirements and recycles over 90% of its waste delivering to the market products with one of the lowest carbon footprint in the industry.

Managing Director at Nornickel Harjavalta Joni Hautojärvi commented, “This expansion will further strengthen Harjavalta refinery’s position as one of the most sustainable producers of nickel and cobalt metals to the EV battery industry. Our unique product portfolio combined with EV battery metals recycling development enables NN Harjavalta to be the leading European supplier of the critical metals to the growing battery sector in Europe”.

Nickel output at NN Harjavalta during the first phase of the expansion will increase from the current 65 ktpa to 75 ktpa in 2023 and during the second phase to over 100 ktpa by early 2026.

NN Harjavalta produces nickel in cathodes, briquettes, crystallized salts and solution, cobalt in crystallized sulphate and in solution. The production process is based on sulphuric acid leaching of nickel semi-products, a modern, high-tech approach that enables over 98% extraction rate and is a perfect fit for the production of battery grade nickel and cobalt.

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