Archive | Norilsk Nickel

Major Russian polluter pledges to turn over a ‘green’ leaf on national television – by Anna Kireeva and Charles Digges ( – April 17, 2018)

In a wide ranging appearance on Russian national television, Vladimir Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel, a long-time, heavy-duty polluter, made the case that his company has turned over a new leaf, and hitched its future to producing “green” products in an environmentally friendly manner.

Potanin’s remarks were pitched first and foremost to car manufactures, who are themselves in the process of revamping their own production to account for tighter worldwide emissions standards and boosting their offerings of electric and hybrid vehicles.

But he also provided the first look at how the Siberian industrial giant plans to reel in its pollution – a clear nod to environmentalists who have long demanded that the company detail its approach to staunching harmful emissions. Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Nornickel exec says in talks with battery makers on investments, cooperation – by Tom Daly (Reuters U.S. – April 18, 2018)

SHANGHAI, April 18 (Reuters) – Russia’s Norilsk Nickel , or Nornickel, is in talks with battery makers over possible investment in its mining assets, but is also interested in downstream joint ventures in return, a company executive said on Wednesday.

“We might be interested in having some deeper cooperation, say on the battery side, and building a more complete value chain,” Anton Berlin told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a battery materials conference in Shanghai.

Nornickel is looking for “more than just an offtake (sales) agreement,” he said, adding that a downstream joint venture in China would be a possibility. Discussions are at an early stage however, and the company is “not in any rush,” he said. Continue Reading →

Palladium takes off on fears of US sanctions against Norilsk Nickel – by Brendan Ryan (MiningMx – April 16, 2018)

The palladium price has jumped during the past week over the possibility that the world’s top producer – MMC Norilsk Nickel which is listed on the London Stock Exchange – could be affected by the latest round of US sanctions imposed on Russia.

Norilsk is also the world’s second largest producer of nickel and fourth largest producer of platinum and rhodium which are mined as by-products from its huge mining operations in the Taimyr and Kola peninsulas in northern Russia. Norilsk is also a 50/50 partner with African Rainbow Minerals in the Nkomati nickel/platinum operation in Mpumalanga.

According to John Meyer of UK broker SP Angel, palladium is up 9% – to $986/oz from $975/oz last week – “on the back of supply concerns as the world’s top producer – Russia – faces fresh sanctions imposed by the US. Despite production not being directly hit by the sanctions, the market has been rattled by the inclusion of Russian magnate Oleg Deripaska on the trade blacklist.” Continue Reading →

The move to EVs will take time, but the shift in commodity demand will be ‘dramatic’ – Gareth Penny (Metal Bulletin – April 4, 2018)

In a comprehensive interview with Andrea Hotter in the April 2018 issue of Metal Market Magazine, Norilsk Nickel chairman Gareth Penny gave his predictions for electric and hybrid vehicle growth and how the company will move to maximize the value of its products.

As the electrification of the global economy continues to increase demand for the metals that Norilsk produces, particularly nickel and cobalt, Penny predicts a dramatic shift in commodity demand patterns.

“Like most of these things, the move to EVs will take longer than people think, but when the time arrives, it’ll be even more dramatic,” he says. Continue Reading →

Russian metals producers forge ahead – by Henry Foy (Financial Times – March 26, 2018)

The start of construction of blast furnace 3 at Severstal’s sprawling Cherepovets plant will signify more than just strong business optimism at the Russian steelmaker. It will feel like throwing off a decade-long hoodoo.

First announced in 2008, only to be postponed and cancelled as the global financial crisis and then the 2014 commodity crash whipsawed across the industry’s balance sheets, the Rbs28bn ($500m) project is one of a number of capital expenditure projects by Russian metals and mining companies forging ahead with renewed confidence.

Despite the threat of new western sanctions against the country and US tariffs on aluminium and steel, Russian metal executives have a spring in their step, as commodity prices continue to rise, borrowing costs come down and painful debt restructurings and strategy shifts over the past five years begin to bear fruit.  Continue Reading →

London Brawl Between Pro-Putin Tycoons Tests Kremlin’s Patience – by Yuliya Fedorinova, Ilya Arkhipov and Irina Reznik (Bloomberg News – March 19, 2018)

They’re two of Russia’s most powerful tycoons, each with a reach that extends into Vladimir Putin’s inner sanctum, and now they’re fighting over one of the country’s most lucrative assets.

The dispute between the billionaires—Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska—runs from Arctic mines to the High Court in London. The legal proceedings provide a glimpse into the rules, written and not, that govern the vast fortunes that exist at the pleasure of the newly re-elected president.

As a British judge prepares to rule on small ownership changes that may have a big impact on Siberian metals titan Norilsk Nickel, initial signs from Kremlin insiders suggest one longtime Putin ally may have an edge over the other. Continue Reading →

The Oligarchs’ Feud That Will Affect Electric Cars – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – March 5, 2018)

Russian billionaires are feuding over control of a giant natural-resource business that dates back to the Soviet era. So far, so Russia.

What makes the battle for MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC more important than typical business maneuvering is that it will affect development of one of the largest deposits of nickel and cobalt, which are used in batteries for goods including iPads and Tesla cars.

1. Who is feuding?

Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska, the two billionaires battling for control of Nornickel (as the company is known), have opposing strategies for its future. Potanin, the company’s chief executive officer and the second-richest Russian, wants to expand the business and develop new deposits to maintain its position in the industry. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel: At War with Itself – by Matthew Turner (Market Mogul – February 28, 2018)

Market Mogul

A long-standing spat between Rusal owner Oleg Deripaska and fellow metals magnate Vladimir Potanin over the ownership of nickel producer Norilsk, one of the world’s largest miners of nickel and palladium, is going into the next round.

Aluminium producer Rusal, which owns a 27.8% stake in Norilsk, has announced its readiness for a “shoot out” auction to determine whether it takes full control of Norilsk. The market is holding its breath as the conflicting parties are desperately searching for a resolution.

The latest chapter in this long-running corporate saga began when Potanin’s holding company Interros, which owns 30.4% shares in the company, made a move to acquire the 6.5% stake held by Roman Abramovich – shares that entered into Abramovich’s possession in 2012 as part of a “peace agreement” between Deripaska and Potanin to take the heat out of the tensions in the company. Continue Reading →

Russian billionaires risk ‘shootout’ in battle over nickel giant – by Polina Devitt (Reuters U.S. – February 26, 2018)

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Two of Russia’s richest men could trigger a complicated auction known as a “shootout”, in a bid to end their long-running battle for control of mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel).

After a five-year peace deal ended in December, the power struggle between two major Nornickel shareholders, Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska’s aluminum giant Rusal, resurfaced earlier this month.

Potanin offered to buy a stake owned by a third businessman, Roman Abramovich. Abramovich has a history of good relations with President Vladimir Putin. Sources say he was installed as a minority shareholder in 2012 by the Kremlin as part of the deal to keep the peace. The Kremlin has always denied this. Continue Reading →

Rusal’s Deripaska to Step Down and Focus on Norilsk Nickel – by Staff (Aluminium Insider – February 20, 2018)

Russian Federation industrialist Oleg Deripaska is to step down from his position as president of both En+ Group and U.C. Rusal, Russian and international media reported.

While RUSAL clarified that no such decision has been made yet and that the Company’s board will discuss executive changes on 22 February, sources told the media earlier this week that Deripaska will announce his departure from these two pursuits, retaining only his official capacity at GAZ Group, which is Russia’s premier producer of commercial vehicles. According to insiders, the move was in the works prior to news of the renewed fight for Norilsk Nickel.

The battle to control Norilsk has been an off-again, on-again affair for the last decade that began upon the exit of Mikhail Prokhorov from the firm. Prokhorov, who was Vladimir Potanin’s partner in the venture the time of his departure, left a partial ownership void when he stepped down in 2008. Although Potanin had his sights set on acquiring the then-unclaimed share of the enterprise, Deripaska’s Rusal purchased the interest instead. Continue Reading →

Samsung SDI Can’t Skirt Cobalt’s Crunch – by David Fickling (Bloomberg News – February 13, 2018)

Demand is rising much faster than supply, used mobile phones or none.

Can recycling save the world from a looming shortage of cobalt? The idea has sound precedent. Lead — an essential ingredient in traditional car batteries, just as cobalt will be for the coming generation of lithium-ion cells — is probably the most extensively recycled industrial raw material on earth.

With cobalt demand from cars, electric buses and utility-scale batteries set to soar over the next decade, mining cobalt from spent batteries rather than the ground could go some way toward keeping the market balanced.

That’s the hope of Samsung SDI Co. The South Korean components company will sign a deal with a cobalt-recycling business to secure supplies from used mobile phones, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, listing American Manganese Inc. and Umicore SA without saying whether either was under consideration for the tie-up. Continue Reading →

Stalin’s legacy lives on in city that slaves built – archive, 1994 – by James Meek (The Guardian – December 29, 2017)

At the end of the second world war, as Europe was preparing to celebrate its victory over fascism, the Soviet authorities arrested an entire school of teenage girls from western Ukraine, named them enemies of the people, took them to an Arctic concentration camp and forced them to expend their youth in slave labour.

Half a century later Galina Skopyuk is still there. She is a prisoner of circumstances now rather than a prisoner of Stalin, but beginning her 49th winter in a land where the winters are nine months long is hard. “I’m always hoping to leave. I don’t want to die here. But I don’t have any chance,” she said.

Mrs Skopyuk is one of the few living links between the present-day city of Norilsk and the dark years of its creation, starting in 1935, when Stalin willed thousands of political prisoners hither to claw a city out of the tundra in a metal-rich volcanic crater. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Journal; Comes the Thaw, the Gulag’s Bones Tell Their Dark Tale – by Steven Lee Myers (New York Times – February 24, 2004)

The bones appear each June, when the hard Arctic winter breaks at last and the melting snows wash them from the site of what some people here — but certainly not many — call this city’s Golgotha.

The bones are the remains of thousands of prisoners sent to the camps in this frozen island of the Gulag Archipelago. To this day, no one knows exactly how many labored here in penal servitude. To this day, no one knows exactly how many died. The bones are an uncomfortable reminder of a dark past that most would rather forget.

”Here it is generally thought that the history of the camps is an awful secret in the family,” said Vladislav A. Tolstov, a journalist and historian who has lived in Norilsk all his life. ”We all know about it, but we try not to think about it.” Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel offers a sketch of how it will reduce its sulfur dioxide pollution – by Charles Digges ( – December 20, 2017)

Norilsk Nickel, which has time and again made its hometown one of the most polluted places on earth, has announced plans to slash dirty emissions – and finally has released a sketch of measures it will undertake to carry that out.

Norway would benefit too. An investment plan the industrial giant released in London late last month also presages a 50 percent cut in emissions wafting over Norway’s border from one of its smelting works in the Kola Peninsula industrial town of Nikel over the next several years.

That smelter is part of the Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company, a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, which has been a near constant source of pollution and worry for northern Norway and other Scandinavian countries. Continue Reading →

Silk Road fever grips the Russian Far East and boosts economy = by Pepe Escobar (Asia Times – December 13, 2017)

If you are looking for the latest breakthroughs in trans-Eurasian geoeconomics, you should keep an eye on the East – the Russian Far East. One interesting project is the new state-of-the-art $1.5 billion Bystrinsky plant. Located about 400 kilometers from the Chinese border by rail and tucked inside the Trans-Baikal region of Siberian, it is now finally open for business.

This mining and processing complex, which contains up to 343 million tonnes of ore reserves, is a joint venture between Russian and Chinese companies.

Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s leading mining group and one of the world’s largest producers of nickel and palladium, has teamed up with CIS Natural Resources Fund, established by President Vladimir Putin, and China’s Highland Fund. Continue Reading →