Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announces that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom (Rosatom).
The agreement was signed by Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel President, and Alexey Likhachev, Rosatom Director General. The parties agreed to cooperate in several areas.
First, the parties intend to deliver strategic projects in the Russian Arctic in a bid to develop the infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route, Arctic shipping, including the implementation of shipbuilding projects and the development of the nuclear icebreaker fleet. Atomflot’s icebreakers help Nornickel expand the transport corridor to the Taimyr Peninsula, allowing it to support its ambitious investment programme in the Norilsk Industrial District. For example, since 2022, the Sibir nuclear-powered icebreaker has been providing year-round navigation on the Murmansk-Dudinka line and is operating in the Yenisey Bay, ensuring commercial speed of piloting.
Joint projects may also include the development of the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit in the Murmansk region and further deep processing of lithium raw materials. Kolmozerskoye is the largest (18.9% of domestic reserves) and most promising untapped Russian lithium ore deposit and is currently unallocated. The parties will consider setting up a joint venture with stakes and parity principles of corporate governance. Such JV would combine the assets and competencies of the partners and participate in the Kolmozerskoye licence auction.
“Nornickel’s products have long played an important role in energy storage. By expanding our range of metals with such an important and sought-after raw material as lithium, we intend to strengthen our position as a key supplier to the battery industry. And cooperation between Rosatom and Nornickel will allow the Russian industry to take a step forward in developing its own production of efficient modern batteries,” said Nornickel President Vladimir Potanin.
Lithium mining will help set up the first domestic production of lithium-containing products, as well as the production of lithium-ion traction batteries. Thus, by complementing each other’s capabilities and assets, cooperation between Rosatom and Nornickel will accelerate the construction of a full-cycle energy storage industry.
Under the cooperation agreement, Rosatom plans to involve FSUE Atomflot, ARMZ Uranium Holding, JSC TechSnabExport and JSC RENERA in the projects.
“The list of areas is not exhaustive and may be supplemented by the parties by concluding additional agreements,” the document says.