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Mining giant Nornickel proposes doubling 9-month dividend amid high metals prices

Russian mining giant Nornickel recommended on Monday more than doubling its dividend payment for the first nine months of 2021, with a total payout amounting to 232.84 billion roubles ($3.2 billion).

Nornickel is the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel. Its first-half core earnings tripled thanks to higher global metals prices and a low-base effect offsetting reduced nickel and copper output.

Its board of directors recommended the payment of 1,523.17 roubles per share, the miner said in a statement.

It paid 623.35 roubles per share for January-September, 2020, and its total 2020 payout was affected by a $2 billion fine for the 2020 Arctic fuel spill. The miner then compensated part of the decline with a buyback of its shares.

Interros Holding, owned by Nornickel’s chief executive Vladimir Potanin, and aluminium producer Rusal are Nornickel’s largest shareholders with 36% and 26%, respectively.

Nornickel’s dividend policy is set under an agreement between Interros and Rusal, for which the miner’s payments are an important source of income, and their current agreement expires on Jan. 1, 2023.

Potanin said in September that Nornickel would stick with its policy of paying out 60% of core earnings in dividends for 2021 as Rusal did not approve a lower payout.

($1 = 74.9679 roubles) (Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt; editing by David Evans and Susan Fenton).

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