Norilsk nickel production up 0.8%, copper down 3.1% in H1

Norilsk nickel production up 0.8%, copper down 3.1% in H1

OAO MMC Norilsk Nickel (RTS: GMKN) produced 121,000 tonnes of nickel, 218,000 tonnes of copper, 1.656 million troy ounces of palladium and 398,000 ounces of platinum group metals in the first half of 2006, according to preliminary information, the company said in a statement.

In the first half of 2005 the company produced 120,000 tonnes of nickel and 225,000 tonnes of copper. As a result, production in the first half of this year was up 0.8% and down 3.1% respectively.

This figures doe not include production by the U.S. company Stillwater Mining Company, in which Norilsk Nickel has a controlling stake.

According to forecasts by Norilsk Nickel Deputy General Director Tav Morgan, production of nickel and copper in 2006 will remain unchanged at 243,000-248,000 tonnes and 422,000-427,000 tonnes respectively. At the same time the company has increased its palladium production target in 2006 to 3.05 million-3.1 million ounces (95-96 tonnes), and for PGM – 720,000-730,000 ounces (22-23 tonnes).

Norilsk Nickel is the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium.

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