Russian PGM miner Nornickel said that Covid-19 has not yet had any adverse affects on its operations. The company’s mine output increased 5% compared to this time last year, but global economic conditions have had an impact on sales.

Nornickel COO Sergey Dyachenko said:

“First of all, I would like to highlight that COVID-19 outbreak has not had any material adverse impact on Company’s operating activity so far. Nornickel is making significant arrangements to protect the health and safety of its employees, while maintaining business as usual in all operating sites.

Therefore, we reiterate our production guidance from own Russian feed for FY2020 announced at the Capital Markets Day in November 2019.

In 1Q2020, the Company increased mine output 5% compared to last year. However, the volumes of saleable metals were affected by the pre-commissioning of the new chlorine leaching refining shop at Kola MMC. As a result, the Company built up temporarily nickel and (to a lesser extent) PGMs work-in-progress material inventories. In addition, PGMs’ volumes reduced relative to last year due to a high base effect of 1Q2019, when a substantial amount of earlier accumulated work-in-progress PGM inventory was released.”

The company expects saleable metal production volumes to recover over the course of the year.