MOSCOW, December 23, 2020 (Newswire.com) - MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, is shutting down a smelting shop in the town of Nikel in Russia’s Murmansk region. It is the company's oldest production facility to date. Its shutdown is part of Nornickel's comprehensive environmental programme, which aims to significantly reduce the environmental impact at all production sites. With the closure of the shop, hazardous emissions into the atmosphere at the Russia’s Norwegian border will cease.
Nornickel’s President Vladimir Potanin commented: "Today will be a symbolic event - the melting of the "last ladle", after which the smelting shop will be closed. This is a historic event for Nornickel. Following the closure of the smelting facilities in Nikel, we are modernising our metallurgical production in Monchegorsk, including the construction of new state-of-the-art facilities. It is important for us to ensure that our own production meets modern requirements. Nornickel produces commodities that are in demand and beneficial for the economy of the future - our metals are used in batteries and car catalysts. This allows us to say that on the map of our country, on the map of the world, there is an environmentally advanced company which also produces goods for the green economy.”
Murmansk Region Governor Andrey Chibis said: "The company's decision to close the smelter was certainly a forced measure aimed at reducing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. But overall, it is a reconfiguration of the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company's production facilities, modernisation, implementation of modern technologies and an increase in the output of the company's main products in our region. The most important task initially was to take into account what employees here wanted. To take all possible measures for social adaptation of the shop’s employees. The workers who wished to remain with the company were offered jobs in other units. For those who decided to try their hand at entrepreneurship, good starting conditions were created.”
The decision to close the smelting facility was made by Nornickel in November 2019. The closure will completely eliminate sulphur dioxide emissions in the cross-border area with Norway. It is planned to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions at Kola MMC by 50% in 2020 and by 85% by 2021. Within a year after the shutdown, the shop’s building will be prepared for mothballing: it will be cleaned, materials containing non-ferrous metals will be collected and sent for recycling.
About MMC Norilsk Nickel
MMC Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world’s largest producer of palladium, high-grade nickel, and a major producer of platinum and copper; it also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, sulphur and other products. Nornickel shares are listed on the Moscow and Saint Petersburg Stock Exchanges; ADRs are traded over the counter in the U.S. and on the London, Berlin and Frankfurt Stock Exchanges.
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Source: MMC Norilsk Nickel