About the asset

The NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary GroupPublic Joint Stock CompanyPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel"Go to the glossary "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary boasts a unique resource base unrivalled in terms of the number of valuable minerals and the high content of key metals such as nickel, copper, and platinum group metals (PGMPlatinum group metals taken as a whole or in any combination of platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and iridiumGo to the glossary). Located on the Taimyr Peninsula, the Company’s key production site has over 2 bt of ore in resources, which is sufficient to maintain current production levels for over 75 years.

Nornickel develops the Talnakh and Norilsk OreNatural minerals containing metals or their compounds in economically valuable amounts and forms.Go to the glossary Clusters in the Norilsk Industrial District. In 2020, the total amount of ore mined in these areas was 18.8 mt, which is more than 50% of the Nornickel Group’s overall production volumes.

The key production assets responsible for mining and processing are Polar Division and Bear Creek. Polar Division develops the Talnakh Ore Cluster, which includes the Oktyabrskoye and Talnakhskoye copper-nickel deposits of rich, cupriferous and disseminated ores, while Bear Creek produces ore from the Norilsk Ore Cluster.


at Norilsk Division in 2020

18.8 mt of ore

Talnakh Ore Cluster

The Talnakh Ore Cluster is located in the Norilsk Industrial District, on the right bank of the Norilskaya River. It includes the Oktyabrskoye and Talnakhskoye copper-nickel deposits, the largest of their kind, which are situated on the north-western margin of the Siberian Craton. In the early 1960s, multiple bodies of copper, cupriferous and disseminated ores were discovered in this area. Nornickel is still mining non-ferrous and noble metals from the outstanding amounts of highest-quality reserves of the Talnakh Ore Cluster.

The Company conducts ongoing geological exploration at the Talnakh Ore Cluster deposits in order to increase the reserves of rich and cupriferous ores through operational exploration and follow-up exploration of deep horizons and flanks.

In 2020, Nornickel conducted surface exploration within its licence boundaries as part of the Follow-Up Exploration of the Oktyabrskoye Deposit project. The project uncovered new highgrade ore zones as well as further defined the boundaries and delivered a detailed geology of the high-grading ore reserves within the Severnaya 3 and Severnaya 4 deposits. A quantitative estimate of the newly identified resource potential is planned following the project completion in the second half of 2021.

MineA mining location for the extraction of ores.Go to the glossaryral resource base

Measured and indicated mineral resources

1,546.3 mt of ore
11.2 mt of Ni
21.4 mt of Cu
7.4 kt of PGM (231.7 m oz t)

Norilsk Ore Cluster

In the Norilsk Ore Cluster, Nornickel has been developing sulphide disseminated ores in the northern part of the Norilsk-1 Deposit since the 1930s. Nornickel’s geological exploration led to an increase in the deposit’s reserves to 150 mt of ore, making it possible to proceed with open-pit and underground mining in the northern part of the deposit until 2050.

The deposit development project was called Southern Cluster. To support this project, including by way of attracting new investments, in 2017, Nornickel established Bear Creek, a standalone subsidiary that operates the assets of the Southern Cluster, holds the development licence and owns part of Polar Division’s assets. Bear Creek oversees operations at Zapolyarny Mine (open-pit and underground mining), Tailing Dam No. 1, Lebyazhye tailing dam and Norilsk Concentrator. As part of the Southern Cluster project, ore production will be ramped up to 9 mtpa. After reaching its target capacity, the project will annually yield over 20 tonnes of PGM.

Tapping into the Taimyr ore reserves will be facilitated by the development of several other deposits in the Norilsk Industrial District, which Nornickel plans to pursue in partnership with Russian Platinum. For example, the Company eyes the development of the Maslovskoye Deposit, one of the world’s largest deposits of platinum-copper-nickel sulphide ores located 12 km south of Norilsk-1. The licence for its development is held by Nornickel. To top it off, the Chernogorskoye Deposit and the southern part of the Norilsk-1 Deposit will be developed under licences held by Russian Platinum.

Mineral resource base

Measured and indicated mineral resources

156.6 mt of ore
0.4 mt of Ni
0.6 mt of Cu
0.8 kt of PGM (25.6 m oz t)

2020 highlight

Norilsk Division accounted for 72% and 42% of the Group’s total copper and PGM end products, respectively.

Geological exploration

Nornickel conducts ongoing geological exploration at the Talnakh Ore Cluster deposits in order to increase the reserves of rich and cupriferous ores through operational exploration and follow-up exploration of deep horizons and flanks.

The northern part of the Norilsk-1 Deposit was not explored in 2018.

Geological exploration

Mining assets

The Talnakhskoye and Oktyabrskoye Deposits are developed by Taimyrsky, Oktyabrsky, Komsomolsky, Skalisty and Mayak Mines. Polar Division uses simulation modelling for underground mining planning.

The Norilsk-1 Deposit (Bear Creek) is developed by Zapolyarny Mine through open-pit and underground mining.

ConcentrationArtificial improvement of metallurgical feedstock mineral grades by removing a major portion of waste rock not containing any valuable minerals.Go to the glossary facilities

All ore produced is enriched at Talnakh and Norilsk Concentrators. Talnakh Concentrator processes rich, cupriferous and disseminated ores from the Oktyabrskoye and Talnakhskoye Deposits to produce nickel-pyrrhotite and copper concentrates and metal bearing products. In 2018, the Company resolved to ramp up capacity at Talnakh Concentrator from 10.2 to 18 mtpa.Talnakh Concentrator processed 10.9 mln t of ore in 2020 (up 0.2 mln t y-o-y). Its nickel recovery from ore into bulk flotation concentrate, including the output of metal-bearing pyrrhotite products, increased by 2.0% y-o-y to 87.9% due to the optimised technology for obtaining copper-nickel concentrate deployed at Talnakh Concentrator.

Norilsk Concentrator processes all disseminated ores from the Norilsk-1 Deposit, cupriferous and disseminated ores from the Oktyabrskoye and Talnakhskoye Deposits, and Copper Plant’s low-grade ores to produce nickel and copper concentrates.

Concentration facilities

SmeltingA pyrometallurgical process performed at high temperatures enabling the complete melting down of the processed material.Go to the glossary facilities

As part of its large-scale reconfiguration programme, the Company shut down Nickel Plant, making Kola MMCMining and Metallurgical CompanyGo to the glossary its new nickel refining hub. Polar Division focuses on the production of converter matte (semi-product sent to Kola MMCKola Mining and Metallurgical CompanyGo to the glossary), as well as copper cathodes and sulphur.

Thickened concentrates are hydrotransported from Talnakh and Norilsk Concentrators to Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant and Copper Plant. Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant processes nickel-pyrrhotite concentrate and metal bearing products from Talnakh Concentrator, nickel concentrate from Norilsk Concentrator and pyrrhotite concentrate, while also producing converter matte and elemental sulphur.

Copper Plant processes all copper concentrate from both concentrators and handles third-party feedstock to obtain saleable copper cathodes. It also produces elemental sulphur and sulphuric acid for the production needs of Polar Division.

Copper Plant processes slime from the Copper Tankhouse to produce concentrates of precious metals and technical selenium. Precious metals from Polar Division and Kola MMC are refined at Gulidov Krasnoyarsk Non-Ferrous Metals Plant (Krasnoyarsk Territory) under a tolling agreement.

Smelting facilities