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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Nickel Restructures Gold Assets

Norilsk Nickel said Wednesday that it had consolidated its gold assets under its Polyus gold subsidiary as part of a plan to create a major international company with a listing on a Western exchange.

Polyus is mulling various options to turn itself into a global heavyweight over the next few years, including a listing in New York or Toronto and a merger with a Western major. As part of the latest move toward the goal, Norilsk sold to Polyus its 20 percent stake in South African gold major Gold Fields.

"So, as of today, we can say that all of Norilsk Nickel's gold assets have been consolidated under Polyus, including our international assets," Norilsk deputy general director Denis Morozov said.

He added that it was highly unlikely Polyus would make a specific move toward a merger or any other form of strategic partnership before the reorganization process was over.

"We are talking about the distant future because according to our reorganization plan ... gold assets will be spun off only by March next year –– basically in about a year," he said.

Interfax news agency quoted Polyus CEO Yevgeny Ivanov as saying Tuesday that it was in talks with Canada's Kinross Gold Corp. -- which operates a gold mine in Russia's remote Magadan region -- and others about a possible merger.