OREANDA-NEWS. PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, the largest refined nickel and palladium producer in the world, announces today preliminary consolidated production results for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2017 as well as its production outlook for the full year 2018.

First Vice-President — Chief Operating Officer, Sergey Dyachenko commented on the 2017 production results,

“The Company has fully met its 2017 metal production targets as the main phase of downstream reconfiguration program was successfully completed with Talnakh Concentrator having reached its designed capacity and parameters, and work-in-progress inventory levels normalized. Metal production volumes from own Russian feed increased 7-15% year-on-year, with the output of copper and platinum exceeded the production targets. In 2017, the Company started processing of copper concentrate purchased from Rostec. As result of successful downstream reconfiguration, the nickel refinery, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta, in Finland got almost fully loaded with our own Russian feed, which enabled us to decrease low-margin processing of third party material.

This year, Kola nickel refining operations are scheduled for an active modernization and expansion of capacity with a transition to a new chlorine leaching technology. The Company’s copper production is expected to grow further in 2018 at both our existing operations as well as due to the launch of Bystrinsky GOK (Chita Copper Project) into production. Overall, we reiterate our earlier 2018 metal production guidance, with a small downside risk to platinum group metals volumes owing to a potential build-up of work-in-progress material at Kola division due to ongoing nickel refinery upgrade. The ramp-up of Bystrinsky GOK, which successfully launched hot commissioning in October 2017, is on schedule. In 2018, Bystrinsky GOK is planned to produce 35-40 kt of copper and 180-200 koz of gold in concentrate ”.