SMM1, 31 March: PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest refined nickel and palladium producer, yesterday released comprehensive production results for the fourth quarter and 2018, and reiterated its production outlook for the whole of 2019.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, comprehensive nickel production rose 16 per cent from a year earlier to 62000 tons, almost all of which was produced from Russian raw materials. The increase was due to the expansion of Kola MMC production capacity and the increase in nickel concentrate production sold to third parties.
In 2018, comprehensive nickel production rose 1 per cent from a year earlier to 219000 tons.
In the fourth quarter of 2018, combined copper production increased by 3 per cent to 124000 tons, almost all of which was produced from its own Russian raw materials. The increase in production was due to an increase in the processing of ores with higher copper content.
Bystrinsky GOK's copper production was 19000 tons, slightly below the 2-25000 tons target, due to equipment problems at the mine during the increase in production.
Platinum group metals:
In the fourth quarter, palladium and platinum production were 632000 ounces (- 10 per cent) and 140000 ounces (- 22 per cent), respectively. The decline in platinum group metals production was due to an increase in inventories under construction at the Krasnoyarsk Precious Metals Refinery.
In 2018, palladium and platinum were produced entirely from the company's own Russian raw materials, with a palladium production of 2.729 million ounces (- 2 per cent), higher than the 263-272.5 production target. Platinum production is 653000 ounces (- 3 per cent), also above the production target of 60-650000 ounces.
The slight decline in platinum group metal production was due to a reduction in third-party raw materials, which the company almost stopped processing in 2018. The company's own production of platinum group metals from Russian raw materials has remained virtually unchanged.
2019 production indicators:
(Norilsk Nickel (does not contain Chita Copper Mine) in 2019, the nickel output index is 22-225000 tons, the copper output index is 43-450000 tons, the palladium output index is 270-2.8 million ounces, and the platinum output index is 64.6-670000 ounces.
The copper output index of Bystrinsky (Chita Copper Mine) 2019 is 4-46000 tons, and the gold output index is 19.2-212000 ounces.
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