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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State to End Silence on Metals Data

Russia has decided to lift a veil of secrecy over nickel and cobalt reserves at two Arctic deposits developed by metals giant Norilsk Nickel, which said Tuesday an audit could be completed by early 2003.

A resolution published Tuesday on the government's official web site,, put the Natural Resources Ministry in charge of the disclosure procedure, but did not set a time frame for its implementation.

"We are currently examining possible candidates ... to perform the audit of the deposits, and we hope to have its results at the beginning of next year," Norilsk deputy CEO Leonid Rozhetskin said.

He said Talnakh and Oktyabrskoye were Norilsk's largest deposits, which contained other metals apart from nickel and cobalt. The company also plans to disclose copper reserves in the two fields.

The government has only recently started to release data on nonferrous metals, long a closely guarded secret.

A government resolution issued in early April did not list as state secrets output data on some nonferrous metals, including nickel and cobalt, but it kept the lid on information on reserves.

In September Norilsk, for years one of the country's most secretive businesses, published for the first time in five years its base metals output figures. It said it had produced 223,000 tons of nickel and 4,600 tons of cobalt last year.

The world's largest producer of nickel and platinum-group metal palladium has declared a policy of boosting its openness.