Nickel Production Experiences Significant Shifts
In the third quarter of 2023, Nornickel saw a 21% surge in nickel output, hitting 54 kt, a substantial rise credited to the augmented supply of high-grade matte from its Polar Division. This stockpile accumulated during the previous quarter’s inter-navigation pause. However, the first nine months of 2023 witnessed a 9% dip in production compared to the same timeframe the previous year, with total output touching 145 thousand tons. This decline is attributed to planned furnace maintenance at the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant and the Talnakh Concentrator mill earlier in the year.
Copper Output: Mild Recovery Post-Repairs
The third quarter also marked a 6% climb in copper production, including contributions from the Zabaikalsky Division, with a total output of 101 thousand tons. This uptick, mirroring the trend seen in nickel, came on the heels of the inter-navigation pause’s conclusion and the commissioning of additional electrolysis plant units. Despite this, copper production in the nine-month mark registered a 4% drop from the previous year, a recalibration aimed at enhancing copper cathode quality to align with evolving customer standards.
Trans-Baikal Division Shows Consistent Performance
Notably, the Trans-Baikal Division’s strategy appears to be on track, with a 2% rise in copper concentrate production, credited to an increased volume of ore processing.
Platinum Group Metals Record Varied Outputs
The third quarter wasn’t favorable for palladium and platinum, with production falling to 663 koz (a 13% quarterly decrease) and 160 koz (down by 14% quarterly), respectively. This slump was due to the extraction of ores with lower concentrations of platinum group metals (PGMs). Contrarily, the first nine months of 2023 showed modest growth in the production of these metals. Palladium’s output inched up by 1% to 2,145 thousand ounces, and platinum saw a 7% rise to 528 thousand ounces. This growth is linked to the mining of higher-grade ores from the Oktyabrsky mine and improved recovery rates at certain refining and electrolysis units.