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Russian mining giant Nornickel reports production decline for all metals in 9M 2021

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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 and copper, announced today that in 9M 2021, its total nickel output decreased 23% y-o-y to 130 kt.

The company said that this decrease was attributed to the temporary suspension of mining operations and subsequent restoration works at Oktyabrsky (5 mtpa of ore) and Taimyrsky (4.3 mtpa of ore) underground mines of the Norilsk division after the flooding caused by the inflow of groundwater, as well as the temporary suspension of the Norilsk Concentrator and consequent repairs.

In 9M 2021, the company’s total copper output decreased 20% y-o-y to 288 kt, almost all of which were produced from the company’s own Russian feed. The company explained that copper production declined in the reported period due to the same causes as for nickel.

In 9M 2021, the company’s total palladium and platinum output reduced 7% y-o-y to 1,913 koz and 10% y-o-y to 463 koz, respectively. All PGMs were produced from the company’s own Russian feed. The decline in PGMs production in the reported period was attributed to the same causes as for nickel.

Nornickel pointed out that currently, the Oktyabrsky mine is operating at full capacity, which was resumed already by the middle of May. The Taimyrsky mine is running at 85% capacity since resuming operation in early June and expected to return to full capacity by the beginning of December.

Moreover, the company noted that the Norilsk Concentrator has recovered to 93% of its design capacity with the help of mobile crushers and is expected to return to full capacity by this December.

Importantly, Nornickel said that it reiterates its 2021 metal production forecast for nickel and copper within the earlier announced range, while flagging up an upside risk for PGM volumes, which are expected at the top end of the guided range.

Nornickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper. The company also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, sulphur and other products.

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