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Report: Norilsk soliciting pitches for Bystrinsky copper mine IPO in 2020

PJSC Norilsk Nickel Co. is soliciting pitches from Russian and international banks to participate in an IPO of its Bystrinsky copper project in Russia's Far East, Bloomberg reported Aug. 16, citing people familiar with the matter.

Russia's largest mining company revealed plans for a separate listing of the mine in November 2018, promising further details in the second half of 2019. In February, CFO Sergei Malyshev said the details of the IPO may be determined at the end of the year.

Norilsk continues to plan the offering for 2020 and will update investors at the end of 2019, Norilsk's press service told Bloomberg.

Bystrinsky, near the Chinese border in Zabaykalsky Krai, holds reserves and resources of 2.28 million tonnes of copper, 9.32 million ounces of gold and 40.06 million ounces of silver. On a 100% basis, the mine is expected to produce 40,000 to 46,000 tonnes of copper and 192,000 to 212,000 ounces of gold in 2019, Norilsk said in an operational update at the end of July.

The mine began operations at the end of 2017 after US$1.5 billion of investments by Norilsk, which owns a 50% plus one share interest in the project. Private investors including Norilsk's CEO and controlling shareholder, Vladimir Potanin, and China's Highland Fund own the rest of the mine, according to the report.

In an interview with Russian business daily Kommersant in 2018, Potanin said Bystrinsky could be listed in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Moscow or London.

The prospective IPO would be the first by a Russian metals company since En+ Group PLC's London listing in 2017.