Russian PM signed on Wednesday a resolution to completely remove plain nickel and cathode copper export duties, leaving 10% duties for refined copper and copper alloys
The changes will come into effect seven days after their official publication in the government newspaper.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he expected the measures to allow Russian manufacturers to resume production and improve their economic situation, maintaining employment in towns home to nonferrous metals producers and thus positively affecting the social situation.
Economics minister Elvira Nabiullina said that with world nickel prices falling, manufacturing would have become unprofitable if the export duties had been retained. She said the lifting of duties would open up new resources to companies.
Norilsk Nickel and UGMK are Russia's largest copper producers and exporters.