Russia's Nornickel to cooperate with Russian Platinum on Arctic deposit


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MOSCOW, July 16 (Reuters) - Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) GMKN.MM and Russian Platinum, backed by Russian businessman Musa Bazhaev, will cooperate in developing the Chernogorskoye platinum group metals deposit in Siberia, they said on Thursday.

The agreement is another attempt by the companies to cooperate after their talks about creating a joint venture for the larger Arctic palladium project failed to get an approval from one of Nornickel's shareholders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The cooperation of both companies in the new format will help to ... provide the needed amount of platinum group metals to the market which is running in deficit," Sergey Dubovitsky, Nornickel's head of strategy, said in a statement issued by the companies.

Nornickel is the world's largest producer of palladium, with its main mines based around the Arctic city of Norilsk. Russian Platinum is developing the Chernogorskoye and another deposit - the southern part of the Norilsk-1 - on its own in the same region.

Nornickel would offer Russian Platinum access to its infrastructure near the city of Norilsk and will be responsible for sales of metals produced in this deposit.

The long-term off-take agreement is expected to be signed by the end of March, 2021, they added.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt Editing by Edmund Blair and Frances Kerry)

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