Moscow, 19 October, 2020 — Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announces preliminary consolidated production results for the third quarter and nine months of 2020.
First Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer, Sergey Dyachenko commented on the production results:
‘I would like to reiterate that reduction of environmental footprint remains our strategic priority and we continue our efforts to cardinally improve the ecological situation in the regions of our operations.
In the Kola division, we are planning to shut down smelting facilities by the end of this year, that should lead to a dramatic reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions. In addition, we are launching modernization of copper production, moving to a more eco-friendly ‘roasting-leaching-electrowinning’ technology and also increasing capacity to 200 ktpa of copper.
The Company has already achieved a material progress in the clean-up of the fuel spill incident in Norilsk. Currently, we have completed the collection of contaminated soil from the area around the HPP-3 and started the rehabilitation of the damaged land and vegetation, which continued until the first snowfalls. All the water-fuel mixture, which was collected from the Ambarnaya river, has been pumped using a temporary pipeline to a site at Norilsk and afterwards separated into industrial water and fuel. This industrial water will be used in our operations. We have also installed new sorbent booms at the Ambarnaya river, which will be replaced after ice melting in the spring of 2021.
Nornickel is continuing its analysis of the most efficient technological solutions to recycle the contaminated soil and to restore the disturbed ecosystem in close cooperation with all stakeholders.
Great Norilsk Expedition comprised of 30 scientists form 14 leading research institutes of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences has completed its fieldwork in Norilsk region. After carrying out an analysis of samples of water, soil and living organisms collected in the region, the scientists will publish a report providing an independent assessment of the fuel spill impact on environment and recommendations for most efficient rehabilitation of the disturbed area.
I would like to emphasize that our fight against the spread of the COVID-19 is ongoing and that the Company is taking maximum precautions to protect the health and safety of its employees. The situation is kept well under control and has not had any material impact on our operations.
In the third quarter, nickel and palladium output increased 8% quarter-on-quarter owing to the scheduled ramp-up of the new chlorine leaching technology at our Kola nickel refining shop. At the same time, PGMs production at Kola division increased by more than 30%.
Nickel production in 9 months of 2020 was unchanged year-on-year, while copper and PGMs output were somewhat lower. Reduction of PGMs production was due to a high base effect of 9M2019, when large volumes of earlier accumulated work-in-progress inventory were processed, while copper output decreased due to lower processed volumes of concentrate, which was purchased from Rostec, due to depletion of its stockpile.
At the same time, Bystrinsky GOK continued to ramp-up to its designed capacity, having increased production of copper in concentrate by almost 50% year-on-year.
Taking into account the nine months operating results, the Company has everything in place to meet its guidance for FY2020″.