Russian company Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) has announced plans to invest up to RUB90bn ($1.4bn) over the next four years in two major projects.

The expansion and reconstruction of the Talnakh concentrator and development of the South Cluster projects come as the company expects to increase its production of base and platinum group metals (PGMs).

Nornickel will invest RUB40bn ($616m) to expand the Talnakh concentrator to increase its throughput capacity to 18 million tonnes a year from the existing ten million tonnes.

Once the project concludes, the company will process all of the ore mined at the Talnakh deposit at concentrator. This project is planned for commissioning in 2023.

Nornickel president Vladimir Potanin said: “The strong 2018 financial results combined with the favourable macro environment support the company’s strong financial position and enable our investments into prospective growth projects.

“Our corporate plans fully correspond with Russia’s long-term strategic social and economic development targets. We anticipate that new capital investments will result in an unprecedented increase in the output of base metals and PGMs, all of which enjoy strong demand globally.”

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By GlobalData

Nornickel’s South Cluster development project will involve an investment of more than RUB45bn ($693m) and is aimed at the development of the Northern part of the Norilsk-1 deposit.

The ore mining capacity is expected to reach nine million tonnes per annum in 2027. The stripping works at South Cluster are scheduled to launch this year, with the mine ramp-up expected to start in 2021-2022.

“We anticipate that new capital investments will result in an unprecedented increase in the output of base metals and PGMs.”

An existing open pit mine will be expanded in the first phase of the project, with the underground mine revamp scheduled for the second phase.

With this development project, the company is expecting an additional production of more than 20 tonnes of PGMs as well as some nickel and copper as by-products annually.

The two projects are expected to create more than 2,000 jobs in the Norilsk industrial district.