The first year saw over 1.1 kt of scrap metal, about 270 t of waste and almost 84 kt of polluting materials cleaned up at the area adjacent to Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant (NMP) in Norilsk.
In 2017, the Company adopted a three-year plan to eliminate industrial waste generated in almost half a century. It provides not only for waste removal, but also for the construction of barriers to prevent waste leakage and contamination going forward.
Nornickel staff are involved in conventional monitoring of pipelines and adjacent areas, which is particularly relevant during floods and snow melt. “The pipelines are in good order; as for the surrounding area, the colour of the meltwater near Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant slightly changed,” said Alexey Devochkin, Deputy Director, Chief Engineer at Nornickel’s Polar Division. The plan also includes the ongoing monitoring of the river ecosystem close to NMP by means of the Research Institute for the Ecology of Fishery Reservoirs with regular sampling and environmental impact assessment.
Comment by Nikolay Utkin, Director of Nornickel’s Polar Division:
"The reason water in the Doldykan river turned reddish brown is rapid snowmelt and strong flood waters, which wash away spills that had been piling up in this area for decades. In the Soviet era, regretfully, environmental protection was an afterthought. Currently, Nornickel makes major efforts to eliminate the issue.
In 2016, we made a complete replacement of the slurry pipeline from Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant to the tailings pit, thus eliminating the root cause of the spills. Over the two years of heavy-duty operation, daily monitoring of the pipeline revealed no more spills, which speaks to its reliability.
Both visual and laboratory environmental monitoring of the area has shown a significant improvement over the last year’s flood.
In 2017, Nornickel started on its three-year plan to contain and clean up spills, first taking care of the pipeline’s nearby areas. The Company removed a total of 84 kt of spilled materials, as well as many tonnes of scrap and other waste. The clean-up during the year spanned over 2 million sq m (227.89 ha) and cost nearly RUB 150 m in money terms.