Land (soil, land rehabilitation and asset closure)

NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary focuses on the rehabilitation of all land affected by construction, mining and emissions caused by its operations and carries out regular audits of plant and mine closure plans

Our priorities

The CompanyPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel"Go to the glossary’s priority is to mitigate and where possible prevent a negative impact on land resources that arises in the course of our operations and supplies of our products.

Our principles

As a party to the UN Global Compact, Norilsk Nickel is committed to managing its land resources in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular:

Our commitments

The Company’s commitments are set forth in line with Norilsk Nickel’s Environmental Policy approved by a resolution of the Board of Directors. They include:

  • effective management of the impact on land and tracking land condition across the GroupPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary’s regions of operation;
  • willingness to comply with national laws and regulations, generally recognised principles and norms of international law, international treaties, applicable international standards, and the Group’s internal regulations and guidelines on land management;
  • more sustainable and efficient use of land;
  • introduction of best available technologies and global best practices;
  • implementation of measures to preserve and restore lands across the Group’s regions of operation;
  • effective management of land risks;
  • implementation of an adaptive approach and mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimise, restore, offset) in land management;
  • assessment of impact on land resources, as well as internal and external assessments of the Company’s compliance with land management requirements and relevant voluntary obligations;
  • improvement of awareness, competencies and incentives regarding land management and preservation among the Group’s employees;
  • development of plans and activities to close down mines and facilities.

Our targets

We set the following land management targets in line with the Environmental and Climate Change Strategy:

  • rehabilitation of 117 ha/year of disturbed land and land clean-up in towns and cities near production sites;
  • landscaping and afforestation of 1,700 ha until 2031.

Our next steps towards our targets

  • Key next steps: audit of asset closure plans related to Tier-1 assets
  • Timely updates for asset closure plans in all divisions
  • Compliance with recommendations of the Great Norilsk Expedition on soil recovery
  • Collection of waste and land rehabilitation in the Norilsk area

Our progress and performance

Programme on landscaping of territories and support for environmental projects

We traditionally take part in urban greening projects in Norilsk, Dudinka, Monchegorsk, Zapolyarny and Nikel. Together with local authorities and the Company’s volunteers, we launched a disturbed area reclamation programme to clean up and improve public spaces and areas around motorways, protect water bodies and water reserves, and revamp tourist camping sites.

Based on recommendations from nature reserves, in 2003, Kola MMCMining and Metallurgical CompanyGo to the glossary started implementing a land rehabilitation programme. Since then, the Company has planted over 1 million trees and bushes over an area of about 100 ha, including as part of a pilot project run jointly with the Kola Science Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The project seeks to restore damaged land adjacent to our production site in Monchegorsk.

In 2021, Nornickel and the Norilsk Development Agency supported Clean_Ayan, an environmental project launched by Taimyr Nature Reserves. The Company will help clean Lake Ayan, a hard-to-reach area, from scrap metal and debris. In 2019, the Clean_Ayan project won the World of New Opportunities, a grant competition organised by Nornickel.

Programme to clean up and revamp territories in the Norilsk Industrial District

Nornickel is running Clean Norilsk, a programme to clean up contaminated areas and rehabilitate disturbed land in the Norilsk area. For 2020–2030, the Company’s total investments in the programme stand at RUB 40 bn.

Key highlights:

  • In 2021, a dedicated unit was established within Nornickel’s Polar Division to be responsible for improving territories and cleaning and then rehabilitating land
  • The clean-up programme includes demolition of old abandoned buildings and structures, pipelines, networks and grids, as well as removal of scrap metal accumulated near industrial facilities
  • This will be a year-round programme: in summer, its focus will be on removing waste and scrap metal, while in winter efforts will be targeting demolition of dilapidated and obsolete buildings and recycling of scrap metal

Current Progress:

Demolition of the Oktyabrsky mine car dumper

The clean-up of territories from industrial and construction waste

Research and development:

Nornickel is the organiser of the Great Norilsk Expedition. A report containing recommendations following the Great Norilsk Expedition is available here.

Completion of the clean-up operation following the fuel spill:

The Company is actively engaged in response efforts to eliminate the spill of fuel in Norilsk.

To get the latest updates, please follow the links below:

Fuel spill clean-up

Clean-up progress update on the accident