Moscow, March 22, 2021 — PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, has shut down its metallurgical shop at Kola MMC in Monchegorsk. The shop was shut down on March 20th 2021. It was previously a major source of sulphur dioxide emissions at Kola MMC’s Monchegorsk site.
In early March, the shop stopped pyrometallurgical operations: the furnaces and converters were shut down and sulphur dioxide emissions ceased. Nornickel took another step towards higher efficiency and greener operations. In the future, all the concentrate that was processed in the shop will go to go to the Norilsk Division and turn into finished products. For this purpose, the concentrate shipment unit of the Kola MMC refining shop will be used.
Closing the smelting shop will reduce sulphur dioxide emissions in Monchegorsk to less than 30 ktpa in 2021, and with the shutdown of the smelting shop in the town of Nikel, the emissions in Kola Peninsula in 2021 will be 85% lower compared to 2015.
“The results of the company’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact are evident: next year, we expect Kola MMC’s emissions to be 22,000 tonnes per year, of which
Immediately after the shop’s closure, Nornickel will start cleaning up the production facilities and the metallurgical units from the copper-containing materials. This work will last throughout 2021, and the dismantling of production facilities and buildings will start in 2022.
Nornickel plans to construct a new copper refining facility in Monchegorsk. The new facility will be able to produce up to 150 ktpa of copper, which is double the capacity of the closed shop. The plant will use the state-of-the-art roasting-leaching-electroextraction technology, observing the highest environmental standards. There will be a high level of mechanisation, automation, with a much smaller proportion of manual labour than in the closed shop.
The closure of the metallurgical shop will affect about 700 employees of Kola MMC and Pechengastroy. To provide social support to the employees, the company is implementing a targeted programme worth over 800 mln RUB. It includes personnel recruitment, training and adaptation.
Two thirds of the employees at the workshop have decided to continue working for the company and have been offered new jobs, training and employment with the same salary for at least one year. Those employees, whose new jobs are outside of Monchegorsk, will be entitled to relocation and housing allowances. For those who have decided to terminate their employment, will receive cash payments.