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Norilsk Nickel makes gold-mining assets into separate company

MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of precious metals, consolidated all its gold-mining assets to form a separate company, Polyus Zoloto.

The move will "make it possible to create a new, big, independent gold-mining company with significant internal growth potential and the opportunity to carry out its activity in Russia, one of the world's most promising gold-mining regions," Norilsk Nickel said.

Norilsk Nickel accounts for more than 20% of the world's production of nickel, 20% of cobalt and 3% of copper. It accounts for 96%, 95% and 55%, respectively, for domestic production of these metals.

The new company is expected to produce 100 metric tons of gold annually by 2010, thus putting it in the top five of world gold producers.

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