Nornickel downgrades output forecast by 15-20% after mine restarts delayed – by Polina Devitt and Anastasia Lyrchikova (Financial Post/Reuters – March 16, 2021)

MOSCOW — Nornickel expects its 2021 nickel, copper, platinum and palladium output to fall 15-20% short of original guidance due to waterlogging at two Siberian mines, the Russian company said on Tuesday.

The mines are unlikely to restart fully for another 3-4 months, the company said.

The announcement pushed nickel, platinum and palladium prices higher. Nickel quickly gave back some of its gains, but platinum was up around 1% and palladium shot up 5% to its highest in more than a year. Nornickel shares were down 5.5% in Moscow.

Nornickel, the world’s largest palladium producer and a leading nickel producer, partly suspended operations at the Oktyabrsky and Taimyrsky mines on Feb. 24 after detecting subterranean water flowing into one of them.

The company said that nickel production is expected to miss its 2021 output guidance by 35,000 tonnes, copper by 65,000 tonnes and platinum groups metals by 710,000 troy ounces.

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