Nornickel Increased Nickel Exports by 14% in 2002

Norilsk Nickel mining and smelting company increased its nickel exports in 2002 by 14% year on year, exporting a total of 208 thousand tonnes (not taking into account 60 thousand tonnes of metal used as a deposit for a loan from western banks). As the company press office announced today, 11 thousand tonnes of nickel were sold on the Russian market in 2002. In total Norilsk Nickel produced 218 thousand tonnes of nickel in 2002.

In 2002 Norilsk Nickel also produced 454 thousand tonnes of copper. At the same time the company's market for metals changed significantly: 60% more (83 thousand tonnes) was sold on the Russian market whereas exports decreased by 16% (354 thousand tonnes). In 2002 Norilsk Nickel produced 4.2 thousand tonnes of cobalt, 4.1 thousand tonnes of which were exported and only 9 tonnes of which were sold on the Russian market.

The press office added that by purchasing Polyus, the leading gold-mining company in Russia, Nornickel had itself become the leading gold-mining company in Russia (with more than 15% of the market).

Nornickel is the leading producer in Russia of base and precious metals. Nornickel and its subsidiary companies produce nickel, copper, cobalt, precious metals (gold, silver, platinum), palladium, selenium, tellurium, technical sulphur, hard coal and other materials for industrial needs. The company's net profit in 2001 came to USD 1.16 billion. Nickel production for 2002 increased by 2.5% year on year, copper production by 14.8%, cobalt production by 12.7% and platinum production by 0.8%. Company assets totalled USD 6.84 billion including fixed assets of about 3.23 billion.

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