Russia-based Nornickel produced 229,000mt of nickel and 499,000mt of copper in 2019, both up by 5pc from the previous year. Adoption of new chlorine leaching technology played a role in increasing its refined nickel production, Nornickel cited. Growth in ore production updated technology and higher copper content in ore drove the company’s copper output up.
The metal producer’s nickel production guidance for 2020 rose to 225,000-235,000mt, from 220,000-225,000mt in 2019. The copper production guidance fell to 420,000-440,000mt from 430,000-450,000mt forecast in the year prior.
Nornickel’s 2019 fourth quarter (Oct-Dec) output of nickel rose by 8pc to 62,000mt from the prior quarter, on higher production of carbonyl nickel at its Kola MMC plant in Russia. Copper output rose by 5pc to 127,148mt from the third quarter. Of this, 127,124mt was made from Nornickel’s own raw material.
The company’s Finland plant, Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta, recorded a decline in production of nickel by 5pc and copper by 69pc in the fourth quarter of 2019, from the prior quarter. Nickel output dropped due to a three-day stop in production during a nationwide strike in November.