Archive | Norilsk Nickel

The Kola Mining and Metallurgy Combine: Northwest Russia polluter posts impressive cuts in harmful emissions – by Anna Kireeva ( – April 12, 2017)

In a surprising development, the Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company –which for decades has stubbornly fouled air over Northwest Russia and Scandinavia – last year reduced its emissions of harmful sulfur dioxide by more than 20 percent.

The KMMC, a daughter company of the giant Norilsk Nickel, reported last week that its sulfur dioxide emissions for 2016 totaled 119,700 tons, which is 35,000 tons less than the previous year.

The new emissions figures seem to reverse a rise in the toxic heavy metal pollution that began in 2011. That year, the KMMC posted figures as high as 134,000 tons a year. They rose in subsequent years, plateauing at a towering 154,900 tons in 2015. Continue Reading →

Does Norilsk Nickel deserve to be Russia’s environmental gold standard? – by Charles Digges ( – March 22, 2017)

Norilsk Nickel, the giant Northern Siberian nickel producer and historically one of the country’s biggest polluters, won a prestigious environmental nod from the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs for closing down one of its most infamously befouling facilities

Norilsk Nickel, the giant Northern Siberian nickel producer and historically one of the country’s biggest polluters, won a prestigious environmental nod from the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs for closing down one of its most infamously befouling facilities.

According to the Russian business daily Vedomosti, the environmental award from the industrialists’ union is one of the organization’s key annual events. Russia’s environmental minister, Sergei Donskoi, who presented the prize, called Norilsk Nickel “the absolute leader in environmental change occurring in the industrial policy in Russia.” Continue Reading →

UPDATE 1-Russia’s Nornickel sees nickel, palladium output up in 2017 (Reuters U.S. – January 31, 2017)

Jan 31 Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) , one of the world’s largest nickel and palladium producers, plans to increase output of its main metals from Russian raw material this year, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Nornickel, which competes with Brazil’s Vale SA for the rank of the world’s top nickel producer, experienced falls in production of nickel, copper and platinum group metals in 2016.

The lower output was mainly due to scheduled decommissioning of an old nickel plant and ongoing reconfiguration of downstream production facilities in northern Siberia. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel’s Potanin says his company should be an environmental example – by Anna Kireeva ( – December 21, 2016)

MURMANSK –Vladimir Potanin, chairman of the giant and notoriously polluting Norilsk Nickel, has said his company’s biggest problem is environmental – and he knows how to fix it.

The company is looking stem sulfur dioxide emission that pollute Northwest Russia and Northern Norway by shutting down its nickel smelting facility in the Murmansk regional industrial town of Nikel.

In an interview to the business daily Vedomosti, Potanin said in order to transform Norilsk Nickel from a polluter into an example of ecological cleanliness, he’s willing to spend up to $14 million in a process that he says should take about seven years. Continue Reading →

Russian Billionaire Is Cleaning Up in Nation’s Dirtiest City – by Yuliya Fedorinova (Bloomberg News – December 15, 2016)

Vladimir Potanin makes an unlikely environmentalist. The Russian tycoon, worth $17 billion at last count, derives half his wealth from a mine operator that’s the biggest polluter in the nation’s dirtiest city.

The smelting of nickel and other metals from the mines pumped about 2 million metric tons of waste into Norilsk’s air as recently as 2013, eight times the level of Russia’s next most-polluted metropolis.

Yet if Potanin makes good on plans to spend billions of dollars on the largest modernization of MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC since the Soviet era, he’ll have cut annual sulphur-dioxide emissions equal to the entire output of the toxic gas from Europe’s five biggest economies. Continue Reading →

Kola Peninsula nickel giant promises to cut sulfur dioxide emissions in half – by Charles Digges ( – November 21, 2016)

MURMANSK –The notoriously polluting Kola Mining and Metallurgy Combine (KMMC) has said it plans to reduce annual emissions of sulfur dioxide by nearly half within two years, it’s parent company told Bellona.

A source of tension between Norway and Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, the KMMC – a daughter company of the giant Norilsk Nickel based in Northern Siberia – yearly emits some 80,000 tons of the heavy metal, much of which finds its way into northern Norway.

Norilsk Nickel itself announced last week that it would slash emissions in its hometown – the most polluted city in Russia – by as much as 75 percent by 2020. Yury Yushin, who heads the Norilsk Nickel’s department of cooperative programs told Bellona that the company intends to reduce its emissions to 44,000 tons a year by 2019. He didn’t, however, discuss any specifics behind the dramatic reduction. Continue Reading →

Norilsk Nickel expands mining along border to Norway – by Atle Staalesen (The Barents Observer – September 29, 2016)

Two new mines to be opened over next three years in Pechenga, the company’s hotbed in the Kola Peninsula.

Kola MMC, the regional subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, is preparing for an extension of activities in the borderlands to Norway and Finland. That includes the opening of two new mines by year 2019, and the annual provision of an additional 2,5 million tons of ore to the company’s local processing plants.

The expansion is a key part of the company’s development strategy in the Kola Peninsula, company General Director Igor Ryshkel says to corporate newspaper Kolsky Nikel.

One of the new projects, the «Sputnik», will be developed as an open pit. It holds nine ore bodies and will deliver an annual 1 million tons of ore. It is located 16 km east of the town of Nikel and is to be opened for production in year 2019, the company informs. Continue Reading →

Russia’s Nornickel sees nickel price stabilizing at $10,000/T – by Polina Devitt and Diana Asonova (Reuters U.S. – September 15, 2016)

MOSCOW – Russian mining giant Nornickel, previously known as Norilsk Nickel (GMKN.MM), expects nickel CMNI3 prices to rise to about $10,000 a tonne by the end of the year and flatten out around that level through 2017, its chief operating officer said.

The stainless steel ingredient has been a top performer on the London Metal Exchange this year, with prices up about 30 percent since February lows to $9,730 a tonne.

Its climb has mainly been driven by concern over supplies after mine closures in the Philippines and Indonesia’s 2014 ban on nickel ore exports. “Everyone is keeping an eye on the development in the Philippines and Indonesia,” Nornickel’s Sergey Dyachenko told the Reuters Russia Investment Summit. Continue Reading →

Norilsk’s 1942 nickel plant gone but far from forgotten – by Andy Home (September 13, 2016)

LONDON – Norilsk Nickel, or Nornik as it has just rebranded itself, has just completed the decommissioning of the nickel refining plant in its far-flung Polar operations in the Arctic north of Siberia. It was known as the 1942 Plant because that’s when it was first commissioned and it has been operating ever since.

The closure is part of a radical overhaul of the company’s nickel operations, with refining operations being refocused on the metallurgical complex on the Kola Peninsula in the west of Russia and the Harjavalta refining complex in Finland. It is decidedly good news for the inhabitants of the city of Norilsk itself.

Located with Soviet practicality within the residential confines of the city, the plant emitted 380,000 tonnes of sulphur dioxide every year, representing around 25 percent of total sulphur emissions in the city. Continue Reading →

Russian metals firm admits spillage turned river blood red (The Guardian – September 12, 2016)

Norilsk Nickel insists the temporary problem will not affect people or wildlife, but environmental activists say it is too early to tell

Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel has admitted a spillage at one of its plants was responsible for turning a local river blood red.

Russia’s environment ministry last week launched an investigation into the incident after images showed the Daldykan river near Norilsk in the far north of Russia flowing bright red, with local activists blaming the nearby Nadezhda metallurgical plant.

After initially refusing to confirm a leak, Norilsk Nickel – the world’s biggest producer of nickel and palladium – on Monday said heavy rain on 5 September had resulted in water flooding over a filtration dam at the plant and into the river. Continue Reading →

In Siberia, a ‘Blood River’ in a Dead Zone Twice the Size of Rhode Island – by Andrew E. Kramer (New York Times – September 8, 2016)

MOSCOW — A river in the far north of Siberia turned bright red this week, residents said, leading Russians to nickname the tributary the “blood river.”

A government ministry said it was investigating a possible leak of industrial waste, but had not determined what caused the discoloration. One hint at the possible cause is the path the river, the Daldykan, takes past the Norilsk Nickel mine and metallurgical plant, by many measures one of the world’s most polluting enterprises.

The plant belches so much acid rain-producing sulfur dioxide — two million tons a year, more than is produced in all of France — that it is surrounded by a dead zone of tree trunks and mud about twice the size of Rhode Island. Continue Reading →

Russia: Investigation into possible pipeline break ordered as Daldykan River turns bright red – by William Watkinson (International Business Times – September 7, 2016)

Authorities in the Arctic city of Norilsk have begun an investigation into a possible pipeline break after a river running through the city turned red. Residents of the nickel-producing city, located in the north east of the country, noticed that the Daldykan River had changed colour on Tuesday (6 September).

Speculation by social media users centred on a possible break in pipes serving the nickel-producing town, leading to industrial waste leaking into the river. Other theories mentioned iron ore seeping into the water through the ground.

In a statement, the natural resources and environment ministry in Russia said that they were probing complaints of unknown chemical pollution, possibly caused by a “break in a Norilsk Nickel slurry pipe”. Continue Reading →

Lone Norwegian mayor accuses Russian oligarch of fouling the Arctic: When will Oslo follow? – by Anna Kireeva ( – August 23, 2016)

KIRKENES, Norway – Following a gathering of politicians and citizens in this town earlier this month, calls from its mayor to forbid travel to a Russian oligarch for his hand in polluting Northern Norway have intensified.

Norilsk Nickel, produces a third of the world’s nickel with facilities on the Kola Peninsula, which Norwegian and other scientists have said are responsible for extremely high concentrations of sulfur dioxide on their side of the border, something Rosprirodnadzor, Russia’s official government environmental watchdog has long denied.

But Rune Rafaelsen, mayor of Kirkenes told Bellona in an interview that he’s tired of watching as nothing is done to solve the 26-year-old crisis, and is appealing to Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and the Environment to hit Norilsk Nickel where it hurts. Continue Reading →

Northern exposure: Life in Norilsk, Russia’s most polluted city – by Andrei Iskrov (Russia Beyond the Headlines – August 16, 2016)

Almost completely shut off from the outside world, the city of Norilsk in northern Siberia is a surreal place dominated by the world’s largest nickel plant. Pollution from the enterprise and the harsh climate make life hard for those who work here, but there is also a pride in surviving in such an inhospitable environment.

In the northern part of Siberia’s vast Krasnoyarsk Territory, not far from the Arctic Ocean, lies the city of Norilsk. It is often referred to using superlatives – the northernmost city in the world with more than 100,000 inhabitants, the most polluted city in Russia, one of the coldest cities in the world, and the home of the world’s most northern railway.

Snowdrifts on the streets of Norilsk may not melt until the following winter, the numbers on buildings are two meters big so that they can be seen during a blizzard and real summer here usually lasts for only one week. Temperatures in the city frequently drop to -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit) and below in winter. Continue Reading →

The Kola Mining and Metallurgy Combine: Norwegian politicians and citizens call Norilsk Nickel ‘dirtiest industry in the Arctic’ – by Anna Kireeva ( – August 11, 2016)

KIRKENES, Norway – Residents of this Norwegian-Russian border town have long suffered enormous sulfur dioxide emissions from Russian industry, and say they’re fed up with weak reactions from their own politicians to the two-decade old problem.

An area event last week gathered hundreds of residents of the small town in highlighting their worries over the heavy metal emissions wafting in from the Russian Kola Peninsula’s Kola Mining and Metallurgy Company’s industrial complex towns, and requested their own local politicians break deadlocked talks between Oslo and Moscow to improve the situation.

The Kola company is spread out across Northwest Russia in three of the dirtiest industrial towns in the country: Nikel, Zapolyarny and Monchegorsk. The Kirkenes event highlighted the recent publication of a Norwegian-authored book entitled Stop the Soviet Death Clouds, the name of the eponymous movement that was sparked in the early 1990s to fight trans-border pollution from the newly disbanded Soviet Union. Continue Reading →