Facing diminished market demands, Norilsk Nickel’s Steering Committee will enhance output while reducing costs for its Tati Nickel project in Botswana, according to company officials. Norilsk said it will focus on maintaining concentrate production levels through 2016 by increasing low-grade ore output with across-the-board cost cuts, added company representatives, including contractor work by 10%. MMC Norilsk will also target sales and logistics improvements.

Tati Nickel has already begun plan implementation, as early contractor talks were well-received, said the company. Negotiations aimed at improving ore and concentrate transportation to processing facilities, meanwhile, are ongoing. Norilsk is further negotiating payment conditions with processors and buyers; expenditures and operating costs remain under continuous control. The company also seeks tax incentives with the Botswana government. Tati Nickel will continue drilling at the Phoenix deposit and exploration at Selkirk, said Norilsk, where a cost efficient development is under evaluation.

Norilsk also announced that the first stage of hoisting equipment renovation is nearing completion at skip shaft No. 3 (SS-3) for the Polar Division’s Taimyrsky mine. The program intends to replace deteriorated equipment to increase capacity to 500,000 metric tons annually by 2016.

Stage one equipment replacement in the shaft’s south section has been successful. A new winding unit was installed and a distribution substation has been repaired, said the company. Skips, conveyors, a weight-batcher drive and feeder have been replaced at 1,345 m below the surface. Following the mine’s south section launch, renovation will target North SS-3 section completion by 2015. The shaft’s winding units south and north were first commissioned in 1984 and are now obsolete.