* Australian asset sale plans include gold mines
* Foreign company is the buyer
* Sees palladium prices up, copper and nickel stable
* Does not exclude interim dividends in 2010
ST PETERSBURG, Russia, June 18 (Reuters) - Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM), the world’s largest palladium and nickel miner said it had received an offer for some of its Australian assets, and that it planned to proceed with plans to divest them.
“Part (of Australian) assets we are preparing for sale, part we will keep,” chief executive Vladimir Strzhalkovsky told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the St Petersburg Economic Forum.
“There are gold mines there. We are not pressed for time. We will not let anything pressure us.”
The Russian mining giant has said it may sell some international assets, including a U.S. palladium mine and underperforming nickel assets in Australia as it streamlines its overseas operations. [ID:nLDE64N0MN]
The chief executive also said that Norilsk Nickel had no plans to sell its African mines.
He also told journalists that he expected palladium prices to rise, while copper and nickel prices remain stable.
Norilsk Nickel did not rule out paying interim dividends this year, he added.
Norilsk Nickel’s board has recommended a 2009 dividend payout of $1.3 billion. [ID:nLDE64Q1BO] (Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Toni Vorobyova and Alfred Kueppers)