Russian palladium and platinum producer Nornickel is planning to develop a platinum group metals (PGMs) refinery in Bahrain, reported Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Details have not been disclosed regarding the project’s timeline or the refinery’s production capacity.

The company accounts for 41% of global palladium mine output and 12% of platinum.

The news of the planned refinery comes as King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

Following the discussion, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak revealed on state television that Nornickel intends to build “a platinum production plant” in Bahrain.

Despite the imposition of Western sanctions on Moscow in the wake of Russia’s military actions in Ukraine in 2022, Nornickel has not been a direct target.

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However, several Russian precious metals refineries, which typically handle PGMs, have faced sanctions.

Nornickel currently produces PGM concentrates from disseminated ores from its Taimyr mines and the Severny mine on the Kola Peninsula, according to Interfax.

These concentrates are toll-refined at various facilities including Krastsvetmet, the Prioksky Non-Ferrous Metals Plant and JSC Uralintekh, where standard ingots are produced.

Nornickel is also engaged in the production of high-grade cobalt, copper, gold, iridium, nickel, rhodium, ruthenium, selenium, silver, sulphur and tellurium.

Last year, Nornickel offloaded Norilsk Nickel USA, its exclusive distribution company for nickel, PGMs and cobalt in the Americas, to TMP Metals Group.