• Miner may purchase the same amount in second half of year
  • Nornickel discussed buying palladium from Russia since 2014

GMK Norilsk Nickel PJSC bought about 90,000 ounces of palladium for its stockpiles in the first half before prices rebounded.

The company’s palladium fund, which was established this year to spend $200 million on purchases, bought the metal at market prices, its press service said by e-mail on Thursday. It may buy a similar amount in the second half, it said.

The purchases would have cost about $50 million, based on the average price during the period, and be equal to less than 2 percent of 2015 global mine production, according to Bloomberg calculations using Metals Focus Ltd. data.

Nornickel, as the world’s largest palladium producer is known, is buying metal for a fund that aims to reduce volatility and strengthen the company’s market position, it said in February. Nornickel has discussed buying from Russia’s central bank since 2014, but talks stalled at the beginning of the year when prices tumbled to a five-year low, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The first purchases from the central bank happened in spring, as prices started to rebound, people with knowledge of the deals said in June.

Palladium, which is mostly used to curb harmful vehicle emissions, is up 19 percent this year on expectations for a deficit and as demand for haven metals increased. It touched a 14-month high on Aug. 10.

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