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Norilsk to Boost Capital Spending Up to 54% Next Year

Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium, plans to increase spending on plants and other capital projects by as much as 54 percent next year as it taps more ore deposits.

Capital spending will increase to as much as $2.8 billion in 2011, the Moscow-based company said today in a statement. The company last year announced a 2010 capital spending budget of $1.82 billion. Revenue next year will be about the same as in 2010, the company said.

Norilsk, Russia’s largest mining company, said it plans to spend $45 million on mineral exploration projects next year. The company in October said new projects are needed to counter dwindling levels of metal in the ore it mines. Increased ore output will allow Norilsk to maintain 2010 levels of primary metal production, the company said today.

Russian operations in 2011 will produce as much as 235,000 metric tons of nickel, 358,000 tons of copper, 21 tons of platinum and 84 tons of palladium, Norilsk said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Kaskey in New York at jkaskey@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net.

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