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Russian mining giant Nornickel shuts metallurgical plant, aims to cut emissions at Kola Peninsula by 85% in 2021

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(Kitco News) - Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of palladium and high grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announced today that it has shut down its metallurgical plant at Kola MMC in Monchegorsk, Russia.

The company said that the plant 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.

Nornickel added that 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 8,000-9,000 depending on the season are emissions from the power plant, which also heats homes in Monchegorsk," said Evgeny Borzenko, General Director of Kola MMC. "We plan to upgrade the power plant in order to reduce emissions from this energy source as well. In the future we will act to reduce the negative environmental impacts: air emissions, discharges into the water bodies, land reclamation, waste management".

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.

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