Nornickel to Boost Palladium Output in 2019

Тhe world’s largest palladium producer, Russia’s Nornickel, said on Wednesday it would increase its output of palladium and nickel from Russian raw material in 2019, reports.

The company, part-owned by Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin and aluminum giant Rusal, previously said it would ramp up output by 2025 to tap an expected boom in demand from electric vehicle makers.

“In 2018, the output of all our key metals, especially copper, exceeded our production guidance owing to an increase in processed volumes of concentrate purchased from Rostec and productivity improvements,” Sergey Dyachenko, Nornickel Chief Operating Officer, said in a statement.

This year, Nornickel, which competes with Brazil’s Vale for the title of world’s largest nickel producer, plans to produce from Russian feedstock 220,000-225,000 tons of nickel, 430,000-450,000 tons of copper, 2.77-2.80 million troy ounces of palladium and 646,000-670,000 ounces of platinum.

In 2018, consolidated nickel production was 218,770 tonnes, up 1 percent year-on-year, and consolidated copper output was 473,654 tonnes, up 18 percent. Its palladium and platinum production was 2.73 million ounces, down 2 percent, and 653,000 ounces, down 3 percent, respectively.

In 2018, Nornickel produced 474,000 tons of copper, which is 18% higher than the same period last year, and almost the entire volume of the metal was produced from its own Russian raw materials. The increase in copper production was due to the gradual achievement of design capacity by the Bystrinsky GOK, the company said.