10 Dec 2018 16:09

Nornickel to invest over $12 bln in production in 5 yrs - Potanin

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - MMC Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) will invest more than $12 billion in production development in the next five years, the mining and smelting giant's president, Vladimir Potanin, said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"We are now carrying out a fairly unprecedented investment program: in the next five years we'll be investing more than $12 billion in production development," Potanin said.

Nornickel said in a Strategy Update for a Capital Markets Day in November that it was planning to invest $10.5 billion-$11.5 billion in 2019-2022, including $2.5 billion in its Environmental Program. It will invest $2.3 billion in 2019 and $2.3 billion-$2.6 billion annually in 2020-2022 a part of its Base Investment Program, including environment projects.

Potanin said at the meeting with Putin that Nornickel would be mining more ore as the metal content of that ore decreases. "Now, with our new investment program, we will make the transition from the strategy to a hold back production to a strategy of growth. We'll complete this program in 2023-2024 and expect we'll have growth of around 20%-25% for commercial metals, but we'll have to raise ore extraction 1.5-fold for that. Our whole investment program is currently geared to this," Potanin said.

Nornickel also said in the Strategy Update that it had set a long-term strategic growth target for existing mining assets to increase base metals production 15% and platinum-group metals output 25% by 2025. Nickel production is targeted to grow to 240,000 tonnes by 2025, from 210,000 tonnes in 2017, copper to 460,000 tonnes, from 398,000 tonnes, and PGMs to 130 tonnes, from 105 tonnes.

Nornickel aims to be producing more than 220,000 tonnes of nickel in 2019-2020, up 4% from 2018; up to 450,000 tonnes of copper, up 10%; and 105,000-110,000 tonnes of PGMs, up 5%.