(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the world’s biggest palladium and nickel producer, reiterated its output guidance for the year and said that operations remain uninterrupted.
In the first update since the invasion of Ukraine, the miner said first-quarter nickel production increased 10% year-on-year to 52,000 tons. Palladium output declined 8% to 706,000 ounces and platinum fell by 12% to 163,000 ounces, but only from a higher-than-normal level a year ago.
Russian metal is still largely moving to the market, as producers have long-term clients with pre-existing purchase deals that can extend for years. At the same time, a growing number of buyers say they won’t take on new Russian business, and some are actively working to disentangle themselves after President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion in February.
“In spite of certain challenges in logistics and deliveries of equipment, spares and consumables, due to the geopolitical situation, our operations remain uninterrupted,” Сhief Operating Officer Sergey Stepanov said. “We are using new logistical arrangements and exploring opportunities with alternative suppliers.”
The miner also confirmed its production targets for 2022, indicating that sales haven’t yet taken a hit by the war. Nornickel plans to produce as much as 215,000 tons of nickel, 2.71 million ounces of palladium and 667,000 ounces of platinum this year.
Last week, Nornickel also said the board approved a final dividend payment of $2.4 billion for 2021. The firm is obliged to make one more payout under a 2012 deal that ended a dispute at the time between the company’s heavyweight investors, billionaire Vladimir Potanin and United Co. Rusal International PJSC.
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