16 Jun 2010 15:12

Norilsk has positive assessment for development of African assets

MOSCOW. June 16 (Interfax) - OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel has a positive assessment of the possibilities for the development of its production assets in Africa, the company's head of foreign assets, Roman Panov, told journalists on Wednesday.

In Africa, Norilsk is involved in South Africa's Nkomati project allow with African Rainbow Minerals. Panov said that the Russian company's total investment in this project tops $200 million.

The construction of Nkomati's new enrichment plant (with capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of copper-nickel ore a year) is currently in its final phase. The facility produced its first concentrate in September 2009. Capacity at the currently operating plant will be increase from 1.2 million to 3 million tonnes a year. In 2011, both plants should reach design capacity of 625,000 tonnes of ore a month.

Nkomati is forecast to produce 8,100 tonnes of nickel concentrate and 3,900 tonnes of copper concentrate.

Norilsk owns a stake in the Tati Nickel in Botswana where production is expected to reach 18,500 tonnes of nickel in concentrate this year and 20,400 tonnes of copper concentrate.