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.

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Russia’s Nornickel says new Western sanctions raise risk of metals market disruption – by Anastasiya Lyrchikova (Reuters/ – April 16, 2024)

This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, April 16 (Reuters) -U.S. and British sanctions imposed on Russian nickel, copper and aluminium will further increase price volatility and supply uncertainty, Russian metals-producing giant Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday.

In their latest round of Ukraine-related sanctions, Washington and London on Friday prohibited metal-trading exchanges from accepting new aluminium, copper and nickel produced by Russia and barred the import of the metals into the United States and Britain in order to disrupt Russian export revenue.

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Nornickel expects palladium and platinum shortage to widen this year – by Vladimir Basov (Kitco News – December 4, 2023)

(Kitco News) – In its recent research report released today, Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel, said that it has revised the 2023 palladium market deficit from -0.2 Moz to -0.9 Moz.

The company added it has reviewed the secondary supply of palladium from +9% growth down to 15% fall, while slightly lower than expected primary production from North America will be offset by weaker electronics demand. As for the platinum market, Nornickel expects it to flip into the fundamental deficit this year.

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Nornickel begins extraction of ore 2km deep (Green Car Congress – October 3, 2023)

Nornickel, Russia’s leading metals and mining company, has begun extraction at the Glubokaya (Deep) shaft of the Skalisty (Rocky) mine, reaching depths of 2 kilometers. This move will enable Nornickel to substantially boost extraction of the most valuable and rich ore.

To initiate the extraction, the company connected two independent vertical shafts—the ventilation and skip-hoist. The connection was achieved at a depth of 1,943 meters. This integration facilitated the mine’s essential infrastructure and initiated its primary ventilation system. No one in the Eurasian mining industry has ventured this deep before, Nornickel said.

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World’s biggest nickel producer ditches Western tech – by Atle Staalesen (The Barents Observer – October25, 2022)

The company that has the lion’s share of its industrial activities in the remote Russian Arctic says it is determined to reduce dependency on western equipment and technology. According to Production Director Sergei Stepanov, there are now major risks related with the supply of spare parts for the company’s existing equipment.

“At the moment, risks related to the punctual deliveries of spare parts to imported mining machinery and equipment, as well as the more complicated supply logistics, are of major importance,” Stepanov says in a comment published in the company’s recently issued Q3 report.

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Nickel mining is key for electric vehicles. Experts say the industry can be greener (CBC Radio – June 25, 2022)

Making the most of already mined elements can help meet future demand while reducing carbon emissions

Greg Dipple wants to turn the waste from nickel mines into large-scale carbon sinks. The idea, which he has developed over two decades, would help reduce the environmental impact of mining for metals that are highly sought after for electric vehicle batteries.

“We can see a pathway towards nickel mining in the future where it produces a net positive environmental benefit from the context of greenhouse gases,” said Dipple, a professor at the University of British Columbia and founder of Carbin Minerals, an environmental services company.

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Russia’s Potanin dodges politics and sanctions to flourish (Reuters – May 4, 2022)

May 4 (Reuters) – So far, at least, “Nickel King” Vladimir Potanin is Russia’s ultimate survivor. Unlike many of Russia’s notable oligarchs, he has not been sanctioned by the United States or the European Union for his closeness to President Vladimir Putin.

And as Western companies quit Russia because of those sanctions, imposed as retaliation for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, he has snapped up assets to expand his own banking business. On Monday, Potanin’s Interros holding company said it had bought United Card Services, the Russian unit of U.S.-listed Global Payments, for an undisclosed sum.

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How the War in Ukraine Could Slow the Sales of Electric Cars – by Jack Ewing and Stephen Gandel (New York Times – March 17, 2022)

The price of nickel, an essential ingredient in most batteries, has soared because of fear that Russian supplies could be cut off.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shaken the global market for nickel just as the metal gains importance as an ingredient in electric car batteries, raising fears that high prices could slow the transition away from fossil fuels.

The price of nickel doubled in one day last week, prompting the London Metal Exchange to freeze trading and effectively bring the global nickel market to a standstill.

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Norilsk Cleared to Pay Debt in Foreign Currency, Potanin Says – by Irene García Pérez (Bloomberg News – March 12, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — Russia’s Ministry of Finance has cleared MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC to pay off its foreign debts in currencies other than the ruble, said Vladimir Potanin, the company’s president and biggest shareholder.

The mining company, which dominates the palladium market, has already paid the coupon of its dollar-denominated bond that was due on March 11, Potanin said in an interview with Russian newspaper RBC that was published on Saturday.

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Don’t take Russia back to 1917, Russian metals king Potanin warns – by Guy Faulconbridge (Reuters – March 11, 2022)

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Confiscating the assets of companies that have fled Russia after the invasion of Ukraine would shatter investor confidence for decades and take Russia back to the calamitous days of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, metals magnate Vladimir Potanin said.

Potanin, the biggest shareholder in Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM), the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel, said Russia should respond with pragmatism to its exclusion from whole swathes of the global economy.

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Krasnoyarsk Govt to support Nornickel in sevenfold expansion of Taimyr South Cluster mining operations including Zapolyarny upgrade – by Paul Moore (International Mining – June 28, 2021)


MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and one of the largest producers of platinum and copper, and the Government of the Krasnoyarsk Territory have signed an agreement on cooperation in the implementation of investment projects in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The document was signed on June 28 in the representative office of the Krasnoyarsk Territory in Moscow by Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel President, and Alexander Uss, Governor of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The agreement is intended to support businesses that run investment projects in the region. One of such projects is Nornickel’s plans for construction of new mining facilities and an upgrade of the Zapolyarny Mine, collectively an expansion referred to as the South Cluster and part of Nornickel’s Polar Division on the Taimyr Peninsula.

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Russia’s Nornickel uses digital tokens to fight illegal mining and trafficking of minerals – by Vladimir Basov (Kitco News – June 16, 2021)

(Kitco News) – Russian mining giant Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, said that use of smart contracts in the company’s trading operations, where digital tokens are backed by the metals produced by the company, could help to fight illegal mining and trafficking of minerals, among other measures.

Nornickel delivered its suggestions during a roundtable dedicated to the fight against crime in the field of mining and circulation of minerals and precious metals.

The event was initiated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Customs Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The Russian side was represented by Nornickel.

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First real green spring comes to Nikel – by Thomas Nilsen (The Barents Observer – June 8, 2021)

“We, ordinary people living in Nikel, are very happy. The air is fresh, leaves are green,” says Tatiana Bazanova who has lived most of her adult life in what used to be one of Europe’s most polluted towns.

The infamous nickel-smelter shut down its last furnace in late December, ending 75 years of severe industrial air pollution.

Now, locals in the town for the first time experience a real green spring with clear blue skies under the midnight sun. “I love Nikel,” states Tatiana Bazanov who has lived and worked for the local municipality most of her adult life.

“Seeing the town without pollution pleases me,” she tells in a phone interview with the Barents Observer. Today, Tatiana has been in the hills above the town, taking photos of birch trees with green leaves.

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Norilsk could become Russia’s official Arctic capital – by Polina Leganger Bronder (The Barents Observer – May 31, 2021)

The city was built from the mid-1930s by Norillag prisoners forced to work in the mining and metallurgical copper and nickel plants under harsh climate conditions. In recent years, Norilsk is mainly famous for its devastating environmental situation with huge air pollution and oil spill to the tundra river systems.

Norilsk is part of Krasnoyarsk Krai, whose governor Aleksandr Uss now proposes the city should get the official status as Russia’s Arctic capital.

His proposition is part of a larger strategic plan, which is intended to be completed in the next few months. The plan’s main aim is to develop Norilsk. Once the plan is set in motion, it is expected the governor and his team will present the project to President Vladimir Putin.

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Goodwill Ambassador impressed by Norilsk Nickel’s environmental initiatives (Modern Diplomacy – May 27, 2021)


A group of different speakers at the Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel’s sustainability event were delighted with the Nordic manufacturer’s environmental initiatives.

UN Goodwill Ambassador Vyacheslav Fetisov noted the large volume of investments in the fight against climate change and environmental initiatives.

“Nornickel was one of the first to embrace the modern challenges of climate change and start working in this direction. I often visit Norilsk, most recently a couple of months ago. Once again, I am convinced that the Company has a long-term business vision. And it is already being implemented.

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