Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel said on Tuesday that it has begun commissioning its joint-venture processing plant with a Chinese partner in Bystrinsky, a district near Russia's fareastern border with China.
Highland Fund, a consortium of Chinese investment funds and corporations, has a 13.3-percent stake in the project.` The plant will process ore from the Bystrinsky gold-iron-copper deposit, one of the 10 largest copper deposits in the world, to produce copper, gold and magnetite concentrates.
Full-scale operation is expected to start by mid-2018, a Norilsk statement said. Design capacity will be reached by the end of 2019.
The total ore reserves of some 343 million tons will ensure the plant's utilization for more than 30 years, the statement said.