MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest palladium and refined nickel producer has made final investment decisions on the two prospective growth projects, which include expansion and reconstruction of the Talnakh concentrator and development of the South Cluster. The combined investment into these projects will amount up to RUB 90 billion over the next four years. As a result, the Company is expecting to significantly increase the production of base and platinum group metals (PGMs).
The expansion of the Talnakh Concentrator (Talnakh Phase 3 or TOF-3) project aims at the increase of the concentrator’s throughput capacity to 18 million tonnes per annum from 10 million tonnes per annum currently and a rollout of a new more efficient enrichment technology. Upon the project completion, all of the ore mined at the Talnakh deposit will be processed at the Talnakh concentrator, which should yield economies of scale and improve overall recovery rates in concentration process. The total capital investment into this project is estimated at approximately RUB 40 billion. The project is planned for commissioning in 2023.
Upon TOF-3 completion, the Talnakh concentrator should become the world’s largest concentrator for nickel sulfide ores. Having all of the Talnakh ores treated at a single concentrator will free up the Norilsk concentrator capacity to treat the feed coming from the South Cluster project.
The South Cluster is the mining project aiming at the development of the Northern part of the Norilsk-1 deposit, the ore body that originated Norilsk Nickel. The project will give this heavily depleted deposit a new life. The total mineable resources of disseminated ore at the South Cluster amount to 165 million tonnes. The ore mining capacity should reach 9 million tonnes per annum in 2027. Since Nornickel has all infrastructure in place, the stripping works are scheduled to launch already in 2019, with the mine ramp-up expected to start in 2021-2022. At the first phase of the project, an existing open pit mine will be expanded, with the underground mine revamp scheduled for the second phase.
The capital investment into the South Cluster mining project is budgeted at over RUB 45 billion. The Company is expecting an additional annual production of over 20 tonnes of PGMs as well as some nickel and copper as by-products, making this project on a standalone basis among the world’s largest PGM producers.
Nornickel’s investments into the expansion of the Talnakh Concentrator and the development of the South Cluster will provide over 2,000 jobs in the Norilsk industrial district.
The President of Nornickel, Vladimir Potanin, said: “Nornickel management team has been preparing the platform for growth since 2013. Now we are ready to make a step change transformation from a steady state to a sustainably developing operation. The strong 2018 financial results combined with the favourable macro environment support the company’s strong financial position and enable our investments into prospective growth projects. Our corporate plans fully correspond with Russia’s long-term strategic social and economic development targets. We anticipate that new capital investments will result in an unprecedented increase in the output of base metals and PGMs, all of which enjoy strong demand globally.”
ABOUT THE COMPANY
PJSC “MMC NORILSK NICKEL” is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world’s largest producer of refined nickel and palladium and a leading producer of platinum, cobalt, copper and rhodium. The company also produces gold, silver, iridium, selenium, ruthenium and tellurium.
The production units of “NORILSK NICKEL” Group are located at the Norilsk Industrial District, on the Kola Peninsula and Chita region in Russia as well as in Finland and South Africa.
PJSC “MMC “NORILSK NICKEL” shares are listed on the Moscow and on the Saint-Petersburg Stock Exchanges. PJSC “MMC “NORILSK NICKEL” ADRs trade over the counter in the US and on the London and Berlin Stock Exchanges.