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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Norilsk Says Will Honor Metal Deals

Norilsk Nickel, the country's biggest platinum group metals producer, said Monday that it is honoring all platinum and rhodium supply contracts despite a delay in securing export licenses for 2007.

Russia removed precious metals export quotas in January but retained legislation requiring exporters to obtain a license from the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. Norilsk does not have licenses for rhodium and platinum, which is trading near five-month highs.

"The company is honoring all its obligations referring to long-term supply contracts with consumers," Norilsk quoted Yury Kotlyar, a member of its management committee, as saying.

He did not say how the company was achieving this. Norilsk said in January that it had adopted unspecified measures to prevent a disruption in supplies as it anticipated delays in obtaining new export licenses.

Norilsk has a 10-year quota effective until 2008 to export palladium, a metal used in catalytic converters and jewelry and of which it is the world's top producer. The company has said it does not expect problems with palladium exports. But licenses to export other platinum group metals, or PGMs, have yet to be obtained.

"Licenses to export PGMs ... are still being processed," Kotlyar said in the statement. "Instead of a liberalization of the market ... some bureaucrats are complicating the situation and relations between Russian producers and major consumers of precious metals."

Norilsk produced 752,000 ounces of platinum last year and aims to produce 700,000 to 710,000 tons of the metal in 2007.