Nornickel’s Taimyrsky nickel-copper mine back at 40% production

Nornickel resumed operations at its Taimyrsky nickel and copper mine in Siberia on June 1, the world’s second biggest nickel producer said on Friday June 4.

Taimyrsky is now operating at about 40% of capacity, having been disabled by flooding since February 28, while a second affected mine, Oktyabrsky, resumed full production on May 13.

“Water from the horizons of the Taimyrsky mine has been pumped out,” Nikolay Utkin, senior vice president of Norilsk Nickel and head of the Norilsk division, said in a company statement.

“The mine is expected to reach its design capacity of [12,100 tonnes] per day by the end of June 2021,” he added.

Nornickel originally said the flooded mines could be back operating by March 9. The two mines are said to account for more than one third of Nornickel’s nickel and copper ore in Russia.

Nornickel previously downwardly revised its overall production forecast for this year because of the February flooding by 65,000 tonnes for copper, 35,000 tonnes for nickel and 22 tonnes for the platinum group metals.

On the same day that Nornickel’s Taimyrsky mine resumed production, Vale the world’s biggest nickel producer, announced production was disrupted at one of its largest nickel mines. A strike has since been confirmed in Sudbury, Canada.

The mine would have annual production of 48,000 tonnes of refined nickel in 2021 if it continued producing at the levels reported in the first quarter.

The nickel price was slightly up on the London Metal Exchange in late afternoon trade on the day of Nornickel’s announcement, trading above $18,000 per tonne. The LME nickel three-month daily official price was $17,972 per tonne on Thursday June 3.

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