Bloomberg News

Norilsk Says Prokhorov Agrees to Sell Back Mining Permits

February 12, 2009

OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, Russia’s biggest metals company, said former Chief Executive Officer Mikhail Prokhorov agreed to sell mining licenses he owns back to the company at any time in the next three years.

Prokhorov, who sold his 29 percent stake last year, agreed to sell the permits at a price equal to the money spent on their development, Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Strzhalkovsky told the Kommersant newspaper. His statements were confirmed today by a Norilsk spokesman who declined to be identified. Igor Petrov, spokesman for Prokhorov’s Onexim Holdings Co., wouldn’t comment.

Prokhorov pledged in July to invest $10 billion in 12 metal deposits he bought from Norilsk’s biggest owner Vladimir Potanin under a deal to divide their jointly held assets. Strzhalkovsky has contested the sale since taking over as CEO in August.

Permits include Iisko-Tagulsk, Russia’s biggest untapped nickel field, and the Bolshoi Seyim titanium reserve on the Kola Peninsula in northwest Russia. Bolshoi Seyim may produce 120,000 metric tons of titanium dioxide a year, Maxim Finsky, head of Onexim’s mining unit Intergeo and former head of exploration at Norilsk, said in July.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at


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