Environmental projects of Kola MMC received transboundary assessment

On December 1-2 the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation held a meeting of the Russian-Norwegian mixed Commission in the field of environmental protection. Norwegian delegation was headed by Lars Andreas Lunde, State Secretary, Deputy Minister for Climate and environmental protection in Norway; Russian delegation was leaded by Denis Khramov, First Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Protection. Participants discussed the activities of the Commission over the past three years, and approved the program of further bilateral cooperation in 2016-2018.

Norilsk Nickel representatives were invited to the meeting as speakers on environment conditions in the area of Kola MMCMining and Metallurgical CompanyGo to the glossary operations, as well as on environmental measures undertaken by the company in the region of operation. The relevant report of the bilateral commission was presented by Alexander Tyukin, Head of the scientific and technological development and the environmental safety division of Kola MMCKola Mining and Metallurgical CompanyGo to the glossary:

— In 2014 the total amount of sulfur dioxide emissions from Kola MMC operations totaled 150,000 t, which is 46% less than in 1998 [277,000 t], when Kola MMC was established. The total amount of emissions from Zapolyarny and Nickel sites in 2014 decreased by 38% from 1998 level. These figures are the result of the company policy on modernization of operations. The cost of own funds to achieve these results exceeded RUB 13 bln. And this is despite the fact that production volumes are not reducing, said the manager of the company.

Speaking about the plans of Kola MMC, Alexander Tyukin drew the participants’ attention to the following key projects:

  • Shifting to new electroextraction technology in producing the total volume of the electrolyte nickel, which will make it possible to reduce to a minimum anode smelting capacity and consequently, nickel emissions into the atmosphere;
  • A new electrolytic cobalt production complex, which will reduce salt concentration in the discharged water;
  • Project for utilization of salt nickel refining discharge and re-equipment of mine water treatment plant;
  • Modernization of the smelter.

Norilsk Nickel’s work on leveling the damage to the nature resulting from industrial activity, as well as the company’s activities for environmental education was especially honored by the meeting participants. Particular attention of the Norwegian delegates was drawn to monitoring of the impact of emissions of the company, carried out by the Murmansk Territorial Department of Roshydromet, as well as by other relevant and specialized organizations, including Pasvik state reserve located directly on the Russian, Norwegian and Finnish border.

Vladimir Chizhov, Director of Pasvik reserve, who took part in the joint commission, said that such meetings are held regularly according to an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Norway on cooperation in the framework of environmental protection signed in 1992. “I agree with the other participants of the meeting, who noted the positive dynamics of our joint environmental activities. Nature has no borders, and there should be no political obstacles to constructive work on its protection”, said the Director of the reserve.

Summing up the results of the Russian-Norwegian cooperation in 2013-2015 in the environmental sphere, the parties noted that cooperation in the field of marine environment has the highest priority. In the format of the existing Commission the parties agreed to continue working together to strengthen environmental safety during exploration and drilling on the continental shelf of the Barents Sea. In addition, the parties will continue cooperation under Stockholm Convention, work on waste management at the regional level (Arkhangelsk, Murmansk), and interact on contaminated soils.