Last year, Norilsk Nickel has already become the largest copper producer in Russia, outstripping the Russian copper company. Now one of the world's largest producers of nickel and palladium can compete for a place in the top five of Russia's largest gold producers.
In 2018, the company plans to produce 180,000-200,000 ounces of gold at the Bystrinsky GOK, the company said. Taking into account how much Norilsk Nickel produces at its main site in Taimyr (155,000 ounces of gold in 2016 and 64,000 ounces in January-June 2017), the company may take the sixth or fifth line next year if production other manufacturers will not change. The total gold production by Norilsk Nickel may amount to about 11 tons in 2018.
At the current gold price of 200,000 ounces produced at Bystrinsky GOK, Norilsk Nickel will receive an additional $ 260 million in revenue, for the company it's a drop in the bucket, Nikolai Sosnovsky, director of metals and mining at Prosperity Capital, believes. For comparison: in 2016, Norilsk Nickel gained from the sale of metals $ 8.3 billion and can receive about $ 9.2 billion in 2017 (forecast Thomson Reuters).
"Now the sales of copper, nickel and palladium" Norilsk Nickel "earns approximately the same - 30% of the sale of metals. Even if the company buys and sells 10 tons of gold in 2018, it will bring it no more than 5% of revenue, "- calculated the head of the analytical department of BCS Global Markets Kirill Chuiko.
Located in the Trans-Baikal Territory Bystrinsky GOK was launched in October last year. "Nornikel" owns 50.01%, another 36.66% is owned by the Vladimir Potanin and Grigory Berezkin Foundation CIS Natural Resources, 13.33% owned by the Chinese Highland Fund. At full capacity Bystrinsky GOK will be released in 2019, said in December, the president of Norilsk Nickel Potanin (quoted on kremlin.ru).
In 2016, Norilsk Nickel valued GOK's reserves of 336 million tonnes, of which 2.07 million tonnes of copper and 7.6 million ounces of gold (236 tonnes). Later, the company explored the reserves and put up to 2.3 million tons of copper and 9.5 million ounces of gold (295 tons), and Goldman Sachs experts called gold the main accompanying metal in the field.
In general, it is good for Norilsk Nickel to have an additional source of income from the sale of gold, Sosnovsky believes. Actually, the cost price of gold will be negative, the main revenue the company at Bystrinsky GOK will receive from the sale of copper, he believes. But comparing "Norilsk Nickel" with the largest gold miners in Russia does not make sense, Sosnovsky believes. Norilsk Nickel is a larger company with polymetallic deposits, he says. Revenue of the country's largest producer of gold "Polyus" (controlled by Polyus Gold Saida Kerimova) in 2016 amounted to $ 2.5 billion, forecast for 2017 - $ 2.7 billion.
Gold gravitational concentrate Bystrinsky GOKa "Norilsk Nickel" can process on a platform in Norilsk or on Kola MMC with finishing it to more rich concentrate, the operating director of the company Sergey Dyachenko (words on "Interfax") told in the autumn. "We are also considering processing directly on the site in Dore alloys, which is more convenient," he said. Dyachenko also noted that the first off-take contracts will be concluded in 2018.