Nornickel expects full output to resume at flooded mine this month

Credit: REUTERS/SERGEI KARPUKHIN

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MOSCOW, April 12 (Reuters) - Russia's Nornickel GMKN.MM said on Monday it would fully restart operations this month at one of two major mines hit by flooding, earlier than previously expected.

Nornickel, the world's largest palladium producer and a leading nickel producer, partly suspended operations at the mines in February after detecting subterranean water flowing into one of them. This reduced its 2021 output forecast by 15%-20%.

"The company has resumed production at the Oktyabrsky mine after successfully dealing with the flood. The mine's workings have been drained, mining operations are restarting ahead of schedule," it said in a statement.

The Oktyabrsky mine will resume full production by the end of April and is already running at 60% capacity, the company said. It previously expected full output to resume in early May.

The Taimyrsky mine is scheduled to resume production in early June, Nornickel said.

The mines account for 36% of ore mined by Nornickel in Russia. It halted the inflow of water to them in late March.

The company's shares were up 4% in Moscow on Monday, outperforming a 1.2% gain for the broader index .IMOEX.

Nornickel added that its Norilsk Concentrator resumed operations of its copper circuit on March 15 after being idled due to repairs after another accident.

The disseminated circuit of the plant is expected to return to full capacity by October, Nornickel said. Three workers died after part of this processing plant collapsed during maintenance in February.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Jason Neely and Mike Harrison)

((Polina.Devitt@thomsonreuters.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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