Newly listed Russian gold miner Nord Gold may place a further stake in the company to make its tightly-held shares more accessible to investors, Chief Executive Nikolai Zelenski said, following the market debut for its global depositary receipts (GDRs) in London on Thursday.

Increased liquidity could be a driver for the valuation uplift, so we will be carefully looking at ways we can increase the liquidity, he told Reuters in an interview.

Putting shares directly on the market may not be the only way to do it; we could look at alternatives that will also be beneficial for shareholders, he said.

Russian steelmaker Severstal , which is about 82 percent controlled by billionaire Alexei Mordashov, listed the GDRs in its Nord Gold unit in London following a share swap in which Severstal shareholders had the option to take 186 Nord Gold shares or GDRs for every 100 Severstal shares or GDRs held.

This has left Nord Gold, Russia's third-largest gold producer, with a limited free float of 10.6 percent of its shares in issue.

The London GDR share price rose 3 percent in the market debut to close at $7.80 on Thursday, giving the company a

market capitalisation of about $2.7 billion (1.7 billion pounds).

Although the gold miner did not raise any funds through the share swap, the deal showed that London remains the premier platform for Russian mining firms.

Severstal had hoped to raise $1.5 billion via a London flotation of Nord Gold in 2011, but it was forced to cancel its plans after investor interest in Russian equities soured over lofty valuations.

GROWTH STRATEGY

Nord Gold is pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy that will enable it to increase output to 1 million gold equivalent ounces in 2013 from 754,000 ounces in 2011.

Severstal built the company through a combination of acquisitions and greenfield projects, and Zelenski said developing existing assets is its current priority.

Going forward organic growth is certainly the key pillar of our development, he said.

Nord Gold has operations in Russia, Kazakhstan and West Africa, and Zelenski said if the company does make further acquisitions they will also be in emerging markets.

Roughly 25 percent of its gold production stems from the LEFA mine in Guinea, and the chief executive said his company has not encountered any of the difficulties experienced by Russian aluminium giant RUSAL <0486.HK>, which has been mired in a series of disputes with the government and unions.

The political situation in Guinea has so far not disrupted any of our production, it has been business as usual, Zelenski said.

Nord Gold plans capital expenditures of $500 million in 2012. It has net debt of roughly $200 million and expects to borrow funds to pay back $380 million owed to its parent, Severstal.

Next month, Nord Gold will be transferred to a holding company controlled by Mordashov.

The miner has not published its full-year financial figures for 2011.

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)