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Interros president nominated to Norilsk Nickel board of directors

MOSCOW, June 13 (RIA Novosti) - Vladimir Potanin, president of Russia's Interros holding and one of the two main shareholders of Norilsk Nickel, has been nominated to the company's board of directors, the metals giant said Wednesday.

Mikhail Prokhorov, Potanin's business partner and the other key shareholder of Norilsk Nickel, was not mentioned in the statement as a candidate for the board of directors.

Potanin and Prokhorov each hold 22% of shares of Norilsk Nickel directly and 4% each via Interros, the management company for the metals giant. The two businessmen are currently in the process of dividing their joint business.

Prokhorov, who is ranked Russia's 10th richest man by Forbes, resigned in early April from the posts of general director and president of Norilsk Nickel.

On May 31, Prokhorov announced the launch of a $17 billion private investment fund, Onexim Group, intended to focus on innovation projects in traditional and hydrogen-based energy, nanotechnology and the mining and metals industries.

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.

In 2006, Norilsk Nickel produced 3.164 million ounces (98.4 metric tons) of palladium, compared with 3.133 million ounces (97.4 metric tons) in 2005, and 752,000 ounces (23.4 metric tons) of platinum, compared with 751,000 ounces in 2005.

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