Norilsk Nickel's gold mining arm sells 20% stake in Gold Fields


MOSCOW, March 7 (RIA Novosti) - A gold mining company owned by Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel has sold a 20% stake in the world's fifth biggest gold producer for $2.02 billion, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Polyus sold 98,467,758 ordinary shares in South Africa's Gold Fields at $20.5 per share to its subsidiary, Jennington International Inc., registered in the British Virgin Islands. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were the managers of the deal, expected to be finalized by March 10.

Polyus intends to use the proceeds from the sale of the stake to implement various corporate projects, including further prospecting in Russia.

Polyus is the largest gold mining company in Russia, accounting for around 20% of the country's gold output. In 2005, the company produced 1.1 million ounces of gold. The company's assets include gold fields in the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Magadan Region of Russia's Far East and the Irkutsk Region in Eastern Siberia. Norilsk Nickel is currently divesting its gold mining assets held by Polyus to establish an independent public company set to be listed in Russia, London and New York.

Norilsk Nickel is one of the world's largest precious and non-ferrous metal producers, accounting for more than 20% of the world's nickel output, and over 10% of cobalt and 3% of copper. The company produces 96% of Russia's nickel, 55% of its copper and 95% of its cobalt.

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