LONDON (.) – Russian metals giant Nornickel plans a joint project for construction of a platinum group metals (PGMs) refinery in Bahrain, a source familiar with the matter told . on Thursday. Nornickel is the world’s largest producer of palladium and a major producer of platinum, accounting for 41% and 12% of global mine output, respectively. Both metals are chiefly used in vehicle exhausts to neutralise harmful engine emissions, and platinum is also used in jewellery. The source did not provide the project’s time frame or the refinery’s production capacity. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin earlier on Thursday. In a comment to state TV after the talks, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said that Nornickel plans to build “a platinum production plant” in Bahrain. Novak gave no additional details. Nornickel declined to comment. Nornickel has not been directly targeted by Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since Russia attacked Ukraine in 2022, but some of the Russian precious metals refineries, which also usually handle PGMs, were.
Britain, for instance, imposed sanctions on Russia’s largest, state-owned refinery Krastsvetmet in November as London targeted Russia’s gold industry. Sanctions imposed on Moscow over the last two years damaged Nornickel’s logistics, usual trade flows, money transfers and purchases of imported equipment. The company, which also produces nickel and , has been re-shuffling its production and sales strategy seeking ways to ease the damage.