Precious Metals

MCX:GMKN

“We are creating one of the world’s largest clusters for the production of platinum and palladium,” said Musa Bazhaev, president of Russian Platinum.

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (MCX:GMKN) and Russian Platinum have formed a strategic partnership to invest $4.4 billion in mining projects in Siberia.

“Through our partnership with Nornickel, we are creating one of the world’s largest clusters for the production of platinum and palladium,” said Musa Bazhaev, president of Russian Platinum.

The companies have signed an agreement to establish a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to develop ore deposits in the Norilsk Industrial District to be set up by the end of this year.

Nornickel will contribute its license for Maslovskoe deposit, while Russian Platinum will contribute its licenses for the south flank of the Norilsk-1 and Chernogorskoe deposits.

The JV aims to become the world’s largest producer of platinum-group metals (PGMs), with targeted annual production volume of about 70 to 100 tons.

“The three mining licenses, which will be contributed to the JV, are located in a close proximity one from another and thus have a major synergy potential in terms of geology and logistics,” Bazhaev said.

He added, “[t]he high degree of our deposits in terms of their preparedness for launch, the infrastructure, the unique expertise and successful experience of Nornickel in launching major industrial enterprises employing most advanced technologies provide prerequisites for the accelerated and highly profitable development of new deposits in the Norilsk Industrial District.”

The companies said investment approval of the project parameters and timeline will take place upon the completion of a feasibility study, due to be released at the end of 2019. In 2020, Nornickel will provide the JV access it its energy and transportation infrastructure in the Norilsk Industrial District.

“We expect that upon its ramp-up, the project could become one of the world’s leading PGM producers in terms of both size and profitability. Moreover, the launch of a JV of such scale should give a powerful impetus for the further social and economic development of the Krasnoyarsk region and Russia’s mining industry overall,” said Vladimir Potanin, president of Nornickel.

Platinum is currently priced at $984 per ounce, while palladium is at $990.80 per ounce. Both metals are valued for their use in autocatalysts for vehicles, and platinum is also used to make jewelry.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Shaw, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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