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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk In Direct Gold Sale

The gold unit of Norilsk Nickel, Polyus, said Tuesday it would sell 15 tons of gold in 2005 in its first direct export contract, concluded with Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

Polyus said in a statement it had agreed on the sale with Credit Suisse after receiving a license from the Economic Development and Trade Ministry allowing it to start its first direct gold exports.

It did not give the value of the deal, which it said would be determined by the metal's London fixing. The move allows Russia's top gold producer to bypass banks that have so far carried out precious metals export operations for domestic producers, charging up to 5 percent commission.

Polyus produced around 34 tons of gold last year and plans to keep its output steady this year.

Polyus' main rival on the domestic market, Polimetall, became Russia's first company to switch to direct precious metals exports last year. It sold around 200 tons of silver and 600 kilograms of gold abroad last year.

 Russia will not auction this year the Sukhoi Log gold field, the country's biggest untapped deposit of the metal, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing Anatoly Ledovskikh, head of the Federal Subsoil Resource Use Agency.