Norilsk Nickel will modernise its platinum group metals (PGM) ore concentrating plant

Russia's Norilsk Nickel will modernise its platinum group metals (PGM) ore concentrating plant within five years, spokesman Anatoly Komrakov said on Thursday. Norilsk has concentrated both base and precious metal ores at two plants in the Norilsk region, but the modernisation will split the process between the two facilities. ``It will be more energy efficient and cleaner...The precious metals plant will be running within five years,'' Komrakov told Reuters. He declined to say whether the modernisation would affect production of platinum and palladium as information on output of these metals is considered a state secret. In September Norilsk said production of platinum group metals, used to make autocatalysts to clean exhaust fumes, had increased in the first half of 2000 by 11 percent compared with the same period last year. Komrakov said the splitting of ore concentration between the two plants would account for around 16 percent of Norilsk's $3.5 billion development budget to 2010.