MOSCOW, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Russian metals group Norilsk Nickel said on Thursday its board had approved its budget for 2012, which envisages investing over $3 billion in its development.
The budget approval is the first step in the realisation of the company’s production and technical development strategy until 2025, it said in a statement. The strategy calls for total investments of $35 billion.
The planned 2012 investments include at least $100 million to be allocated for geological prospecting and 7.5 billion roubles ($236 million) for the development of its projects in the southern Siberian region of Chita.
Norilsk, the world’s biggest nickel and palladium producer, plans to raise nickel output this year to between 300,000 and 315,000 tonnes from 297,329 in 2010 and aims to keep copper output at 380,000 to 390,000 tonnes, versus 388,872.
It expects palladium output to be between 2.85 and 2.87 million ounces, compared with 2.861 million in 2010, and sees platinum output at 705,000 to 720,000 ounces, up from 693,000 last year. ($1 = 31.77 Russian roubles) (Reporting by Aleksandras Budrys; Editing by David Holmes)