Bloomberg News

Norilsk's Platinum Exports May Be Delayed on Quota

December 20, 2006

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel (GMKN), the world's biggest producer of platinum and palladium, said it expects the Russian government to resolve a hitch ``soon'' that threatens to delay the company's platinum exports.

The government won't be able to give Norilsk a platinum- export quota before year-end due to ``bureaucratic barriers,'' Interfax said today, citing an unidentified official.

Without a license, the Moscow-based company can't export the metal, which accounts for a 10th of revenue, according to Vladimir Zhukov, a metals analyst with Alfa Bank. Alrosa-Nurba, a mining subsidiary of Alrosa Co. Ltd., Russia's state- controlled diamond monopoly, received an export quota half a year late in 2005, temporarily stopping exports.

Norilsk applied for its quota before Oct. 1 ``as per normal,'' Viktor Borodin, a company spokesman in Moscow, said today by telephone. The quota will be issued ``soon,'' he added, declining to confirm that it will be before year-end.

Norilsk generates more than half its revenue from nickel, while copper accounts for a quarter of sales. Palladium and platinum account for about a 10th each of revenue.

``The month-on-month impact could be substantial, but we see this evening out by the end of the first half of 2007,'' Zhukov said.

Norilsk's stock advanced 0.52 percent in Moscow to 4008.11 rubles by the close.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuriy Humber in Moscow at yhumber@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Justin Carrigan at jcarrigan@bloomberg.net


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