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MMC Norilsk Nickel, the largest global nickel and palladium producer, reports today that it has launched the commissioning and start-up operations of the first stage of upgraded Talnakh concentrator facilities. The commissioning ceremony was attended by the CEO of Norilsk Nickel Vladimir Potanin, Governor of Krasnoyarsk Krai Viktor Tolokonsky and the head of the Federal Service for Environmental, Technological, and Nuclear Supervision Alexey Aleshin.

Commenting on the launch Vladimir Potanin said, “Reconstruction of the Talnakh Concentrator Plant is a milestone on the way towards realization of the large-scale downstream strategy of Norilsk Nickel. The project will substantially increase productivity and improve the quality of the ore concentrate. Enhancement of the environmental conditions in Norilsk is also a function of this project. The Company stated in its new development strategy its strong commitment to shut down outdated and polluting production facilities located in the Norilsk city area and we are delivering on our promises.”

Investments contributed to the first stage of the start-up complex exceed RUB 3 billion. New advanced floatation cells have been installed at the Talnakh Milling and Floatation Shop together with other up-to-date downstream equipment such as automated pumps, process pipework, power lines and many others. An integrated operations center for the entire process has been also put into place.The second stage of the concentrator’s modernization is scheduled for launch in 2016, with the third one going on-line in 2018. The Talnakh Concentrator Plant will expand its ore processing capacity by up to 16.5 mtpa against the current capacity of circa 7.5 mtpa.Total CapEx for the Talnakh Concentrator Plant upgrade amounts to RUB 43 billion.The commissioning of the first Talnakh start-up facilities is the opening event to celebrate Norilsk Nickel’s 80th anniversary which takes place in 2015.

In 1981 the first stage of the Talnkah Concentrator Plant with a designed ore processing capacity of 1.25 mtpa was launched, the second stage came on-line in December 1982, the designed capacity of the plant reached 3.8 mtpa.

The third stage of the project took place in 1999-2000; the floatation section was upgraded with new Finland-made equipment. In July, 2001 Vladimir Potanin officially launced the third stage of the project.In April 2013 Norilsk Nickel resolved to reconstruct the Talnakh Concentrator Plant. The retrofitting and upgrades project successfully passed the state expert board review, and construction of the first project stage commenced.

As of this moment over 9.5 thousand m3 of concrete has been cast at the Milling and Floatation Shop. Outotec OK-100 floatation units have been put into place, as well as Warman pumps with the automated integrated controls system for the whole facility. Metso Minerals has delivered a unique semiautogenous grinding mill worth $21 million for the second stage of the project. Equipment of this kind has never been operated in Norilsk and it differs significantly from what is currently in operation at the production sites at the Norilsk and Talnakh Concentrator Plants.

Open Joint-Stock Company Mining and Metallurgical Company Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium and a leading producer of platinum, cobalt, copper and rhodium. In addition, the Company produces gold, silver, iridium, selenium, ruthenium and tellurium. The production units of MMC Norilsk Nickel's group in Russia are at the Norilsk Industrial District and the Kola Peninsula, and in Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa.

MMC Norilsk Nickel's shares are admitted to trading on the Moscow and on the Saint-Petersburg Exchanges. ADR's representing shares in MMC Norilsk Nickel are admitted to trading on the over the counter market in the US and on the London and Berlin stock exchanges.