OREANDA-NEWS. PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel (“Nornickel” or the “Company”), the largest producer of palladium and refined nickel in the world, and LLC Russian Platinum (“Russian Platinum”) have signed a framework agreement on strategic partnership.

According to the agreement, the parties will establish a joint venture (“the JV” or “the Project”) to develop disseminated ore deposits in the Norilsk Industrial District. The JV will be 50%-owned by Nornickel and 50%-owned by Russian Platinum. Nornickel will contribute to the JV its license for Maslovskoe deposit, while Russian Platinum will contribute its licenses for the South flank of Norilsk-1 and Chernogorskoe deposits.

The JV aims at becoming one of the world’s largest producers of platinum group metals (PGMs) with a target annual production volume of approximately 70-100 tons of PGMs.

The JV is expected to be set up by the end of 2018 subject to internal corporate approvals as well as necessary regulatory approvals.

The investment approval of the project parameters and time-line will be made upon completion of a feasibility study that is scheduled by the end of 2019. The project’s implementation is expected to start in 2020. Then Nornickel will provide the JV the access to the Company’s energy and transportation infrastructure in the Norilsk industrial district.

The project will be funded with a help of project financing and other financial instruments.

President of Nornickel, Vladimir Potanin commented, “This initiative is fully in line with our strategy of sharing the risks of major greenfield developments with partners. It opens up new opportunities for the exploitation of natural resources in the Norilsk Industrial District. We expect that upon its ramp-up, the project could become one of the world’s leading PGM producers in terms of both size and profitability. Moreover, the launch of a JV of such scale should give a powerful impetus for the further social and economic development of the Krasnoyarsk region and Russia’s mining industry overall”.