Moscow — PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel announces preliminary consolidated production results for the first quarter of 2020.
First Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer, Sergey Dyachenko commented on the 1Q2020 production results:
“First of all, I would like to highlight that COVID-19 outbreak has not had any material adverse impact on Company’s operating activity so far. Nornickel is making significant arrangements to protect the health and safety of its employees, while maintaining business as usual in all operating sites.
Therefore, we reiterate our production guidance from own Russian feed for FY2020 announced at the Capital Markets Day in November 2019.
In 1Q2020, the Company increased mine output 5% compared to last year. However, the volumes of saleable metals were affected by the pre-commissioning of the new chlorine leaching refining shop at Kola MMC. As a result, the Company built up temporarily nickel and (to a lesser extent) PGMs work-in-progress material inventories. In addition, PGMs’ volumes reduced relative to last year due to a high base effect of 1Q2019, when a substantial amount of earlier accumulated work-in-progress PGM inventory was released. Whereas the decrease in copper output was attributed to scheduled reduction in processing volumes of concentrate purchased from Rostec and its lower metal grades. At the same time, Bystrinsky project continued its ramp-up delivering a record 15 kt of copper in copper concentrate, up 21% from the fourth quarter 2019 and 51% higher than a year ago.
We expect that saleable metal production volumes to recover during the rest of this year as the accumulated work-in-progress inventory will be released following the gradual ramp-up of the new refining shop at Kola MMC”.