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Norilsk Nickel to invest $8 billion in Russian projects, sell the rest

by Ana Komnenic | October 7, 2013 | Reprinted by permission of

Russia’s Norilsk Nickel has a new strategy: Get rid of non-Russian assets by 2016 and focus on the Arctic.

The world’s largest nickel and palladium producer revealed details of its plans to investors on Friday. The company had announced a month ago that it would be making changes.

The sell-off includes assets in Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa.

Norilsk Nickel to invest $8 billion in Russian projects, sell the rest

Photo: Norilsk Nickel image gallery

As with most metals miners today, Norilsk is trying to cut costs and will implement a “comprehensive cost-cutting program,” the company noted in a Friday statement.

Over the next few years, the Russian miner will focus on its Polar division and Kola MMC site, which include a total of 10 mines. These projects are part of the company’s self-classified tier 1 assets—projects which are large-scale, deliver more than $1 billion in revenue, have an EBITDA margin greater than 40% and a reserve life of over 20 years.

The new focus will include an $8-billion investment over the next four years.

Meanwhile, Norilsk’s CEO Vladimir Potanin, who took the job in December 2012 and said he would stay for only two years, recently told Reuters reporters he wasn’t planning on leaving any time soon.

“For a rich and reasonably successful guy, it is impossible not to enjoy your job, otherwise why would you spend so much time and effort doing it? I am a great fan of Norilsk and I like this kind of challenge,” the billionaire told Reuters.

Reprinted by permission of

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