Nornickel Announces Production Results for 2020
Nornickel announced preliminary consolidated production results for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2020 and reiterates its production outlook for the
Nornickel announced preliminary consolidated production results for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2020 and reiterates its production outlook for the full year 2021. Total nickel output came in line, while platinum group metals production exceeded the guidance owing mainly to productivity improvements and successful ramp-up of the refining shop at Kola MMC after its upgrade to a new chlorine leaching technology. Copper output was also within the guidance driven by the scheduled ramp-up of Bystrinsky Chita project that reached its design capacity for all metals in 4Q 2020.
In 2020, consolidated nickel production increased 3% YoY to 236 kt primarily owing to increase in production of nickel concentrate for sale at Kola MMC and higher processing volumes of the Company's Russian feed at Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta. Nickel output from the Company's own Russian feed amounted to 233 kt, near the top end of the 225-235 kt production guidance for 2020.
In 2020, consolidated copper production decreased 2% YoY to 487 kt. The decline was attributed to changes in saleable product mix, reallocation of copper intermediates within the Company's divisions and lower processed volumes of concentrate, which was purchased from Rostec. Copper output from the Company's own Russian feed (excluding Bystrinsky project) amounted to 424 kt, which was in line with 420-440 kt production guidance range for 2020. Copper output at Bystrinsky GOK increased 44% y-o-y to 63 kt, which was at the top end of the 60-63 kt production guidance for the asset.
In 2020, palladium and platinum output reduced 3% YoY to 2,826 koz and 1% y-o-y to 695 koz, respectively, owing to the commissioning of the new precious metals concentrate production line at the metallurgical shop of Kola MMC, as well as high base effect of 2019, when Krasnoyarsk Precious Metals Plant processed earlier accumulated work-inprogress inventory. In 2020, palladium and platinum output from the Company's own Russia feed amounted to 2,820 koz and 693 koz, respectively, which was above the production targets for palladium of 2,648-2,777 koz and 611-675 koz for platinum.
Nornickel has achieved a material progress in the clean-up of the fuel spill incident in Norilsk. By now we have completed the main phase of the clean-up. We continue developing the most effective approach for the rehabilitation of the contaminated soil and restoration of the damaged ecosystem in close cooperation with all stakeholders.
In December 2020, smelting facilities of Kola MMC located in the town of Nickel in Russia’s Murmansk region, were shut down as scheduled. As a result, sulphur dioxide emissions at the cross-border area with Norway have been completely eliminated, while overall sulphur dioxide emissions at Kola MMC were down by more than 50% in 2020 and should reduce by 85% in 2021 comparing to 2015 level.
In the second half of the last year, a unique Great Norilsk Expedition, which was comprised of 30 scientists form 14 leading research institutes of the Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, completed its fieldwork in the Norilsk region. Based on the results of the research, a report was published providing an independent assessment of the fuel spill impact on the local environment and recommendations for the most efficient rehabilitation of the disturbed area.