Bloomberg News

Norilsk Appoints Ex-Anglo Platinum Chief to Lead Unit

June 24, 2008

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium, appointed Ralph Havenstein as chief executive officer of its operations in Finland, Australia and southern Africa.

Havenstein, previously CEO of the world's biggest platinum producer Anglo Platinum Ltd. (AMS), will head Norilsk Nickel International from Sept. 1, Moscow-based Norilsk said in an e- mailed statement today. He will be based in Johannesburg.

Norilsk is considering joint ventures and acquisition to boost stagnating output in Russia. It paid $5.5 billion for Canada's LionOre Mining International Ltd. last year to gain operations in Africa and Australia.

``There is further potential to unlock additional value through strategic growth and development opportunities,'' Havenstein said in the statement, referring to Norilsk's operations outside Russia. He declined an interview today, saying it's ``premature.''

Norilsk's acquisition strategy is ``unclear,'' United Co. Rusal said earlier this month. Rusal has a 25 percent stake in the nickel producer and intends to acquire the company.

Havenstein resigned from Johannesburg-based Anglo Platinum a year ago amid criticism by parent company Anglo American Plc over the unit's safety record. He was head of chemicals at Sasol Ltd. prior to that.

Norilsk fell 168.19 rubles, or 2.7 percent, to 6058.05 rubles ($257) on the Micex stock exchange in Moscow.

To contact the reporters on this story: Carli Lourens in Johannesburg at clourens@bloomberg.net; Yuriy Humber in Moscow at yhumber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at swallace6@bloomberg.net; Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net


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