LONDON, Nov. 2 -- Russian miner OAO Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.RS) said Friday that nickel output in the third quarter fell 11% from the same period a year ago and the company forecast it would produce 284,000 metric tons of the metal this year, a drop of 5% from last year.
Nickel output in the third quarter totaled 66,703 tons, bringing output for the first nine months of the year to 207,454 tons.
The company, which produces a fifth of the world's nickel and half the world's palladium, said it expects to produce 232,000 tons of nickel from its Russian operations and 52,000 tons at its international assets this year.
Copper output also fell in the third quarter to 101,608 tons, down 6% on year. Copper output for 2009 will be 402,000 tons, down 4% from 2008, the company forecasts.
Palladium output rose in the third quarter by 2.6% on year to 704,000 troy ounces. The company expects to produce 2.850 million ounces in 2009, up 1% from last year.
In the first nine months of the year no mining nor metallurgical works were performed at the company's Australian assets, which have been on care and maintenance.
Third quarter overall combined production of nickel in concentrate by Tati Nickel and Nkomati in Africa totaled 5,757 tons, in line with the annual production plan, Norilsk said.
At the Harjavalta nickel refinery in Finland, third quarter output fell 74% on year to 3,776 tons, due to scheduled maintenance and repair works in July and August and lower concentrate volumes.
Earlier this month Norilsk reported an 84% drop in first half net profit due to lower nickel and copper prices.
(Source: Dow Jones)