Nornickel moves production to China to circumvent sanctions – by Thomas Nilsen (Barents Observer – April 24, 2024)

War sanctions bite hard on Russia’s Arctic mining and metallurgical giant producing nickel and copper on the Kola Peninsula and in Norilsk.

Vladimir Potanin, the main shareholder of mega-polluter Nornickel, admits in a remarkable statement with Kremlin’s information agency Interfax that Western sanctions reduces the company’s revenue by up to 20%.

To circumnavigate sanctions, Potanin says Nornickel plans to establish a joint venture with a Chinese company and move parts of the copper smelting to China. It was earlier in April that the United States and United Kingdom imposed sanctions on nonferrous metals from Russia.

Nornickel is one of the world’s largest producers of nickel, copper and platinum, with mines and factories in the Murmansk region and in Norilsk on the Taymyr Peninsula in northern Siberia.

Although the European Union has not imposed similar sanctions, many European customers refuse to buy products from Nornickel. The important London Metal Exchange is due to the UK sanctions now barred from accepting nonferrous metals from Russia.

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