Taimyr Peninsula

Polar Division and Medvezhy Ruchey are the Group’s flagship subsidiaries boasting a full metals production cycle that embraces operations ranging from ore mining to the shipment of end products to customers. Operating the Company’s largest deposits, they mine ca. 17 mtpa of ore. In 2018, the Company completed a feasibility study for the project to increase ore output at Medvezhy Ruchey to 9 mtpa.

Polar Division and Medvezhy Ruchey are located beyond the Arctic Circle on the Taimyr Peninsula in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Russia. The sites are linked to other regions by the Yenisey River, the Northern Sea Route and by air.

Polar Division and Medvezhy Ruchey mine copper-nickel sulphide ores of three grades. Rich ores are characterised by a higher content of non-ferrous and precious metals; cupriferous ores are characterised by a higher copper content vs nickel; disseminated ores are characterised by a lower metal content.

The Talnakhskoye and Oktyabrskoye Deposits are developed by Taimyrsky, Oktyabrsky, Komsomolsky, Skalisty and Mayak Mines. Ores are extracted through slicing and chamber mining with flowable backfilling.

In mid-2018, Skalisty mine was spun off from Komsomolsky Mine to become an independent operation as part of an effort to improve management efficiency across Polar Division’s upstream assets.

The Norilsk-1 Deposit is developed by Polar Division’s Zapolyarny Mine through open-pit and underground mining. Underground mining is carried out through sublevel (level) caving using front ore passes and self-propelled vehicles.

Ore output (mt)
Deposit/Mine, ore type 2016 2017 2018 Mine type
Total ore 17.24 17.38 17.32
rich 6.19 6.59 6.76
cupriferous 7.08 7.17 6.79
disseminated 3.97 3.62 3.78
Polar Division
Oktyabrskoye Deposit: 8.86 8.82 8.95
Oktyabrsky Mine 5.32 5.23 5.17
rich 1.29 1.13 0.98
cupriferous 3.04 3.15 2.98
disseminated 0.99 0.95 1.21
Taimyrsky Mine 3.54 3.59 3.79
rich 3.54 3.59 3.79
Talnakhskoye and Oktyabrskoye Deposits: 6.34 6.92 6.70
Komsomolsky Mine 5.35 5.86 3.82
rich 1.31 1.85 0
cupriferous 4.04 4.01 3.82
Skalisty mine 0 0 1.95
rich 0 0 1.95
Mayak Mine 0.99 1.06 0.93
rich 0.04 0.03 0.04
disseminated 0.95 1.03 0.89
Medvezhy Ruchey
Norilsk-1 Deposit (Zapolyarny Mine) 2.04 1.64 1.67
disseminated 2.04 1.64 1.67

Concentration facilities

  • Talnakh Concentrator;
  • Norilsk Concentrator (part of Medvezhy Ruchey).

Talnakh Concentrator processes rich, cupriferous and disseminated ores from the Oktyabrskoye and Talnakhskoye Deposits to produce nickel-pyrrhotite and copper concentrates and metal bearing products. The key processing stages include crushing, milling, flotation and thickening.

Norilsk Concentrator processes all disseminated ores from the Norilsk-1 Deposit, cupriferous and disseminated ores from the Oktyabrskoye and Talnakhskoye Deposits, and Copper Plant’s low grade ores to produce nickel and copper concentrates. The key processing stages include crushing, milling, gravitation and flotation enrichment, and thickening. Thickened concentrates are transported via a pipeline from Talnakh and Norilsk Concentrators to the downstream facilities for further processing.

Sulphide ore processed (mt)
Concentrator 2016 2017 2018
Talnakh Concentrator 8.6 10.0 10.4
Norilsk Concentrator 8.1 7.5 6.8
Nickel recovery (%)
Concentrator 2016 2017 2018
Talnakh Concentrator 79.5 81.7 83.2
Norilsk Concentrator 70.9 71.7 71.9

Smelting facilities

  • Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant
  • Copper Plant
  • PGM Concentrator (part of Copper Plant).

Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant produces converter matte and elemental sulphur by processing:

  • Talnakh Concentrator’s nickel-pyrrhotite concentrate and metal bearing products;
  • Norilsk Concentrator’s nickel concentrate;
  • pyrrhotite concentrate previously stored at Kayerkansky Open Pit Coal Mine (KUR-1).

Production chain

Concentrates produced by the Company, including steam cured sulphide concentrate, are fed into flash smelting furnaces of Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant. Steam cured sulphide concentrate is leached in Hydrometallurgical Shop of Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant from products with low metal content, such as Talnakh Concentrator’s metal bearing products, products from Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant’s storage facility, and settler concentrates. The matte produced in flash smelting furnaces is then blown into high grade converter matte.

Copper Plant processed all of the copper concentrate from the Company’s concentrators, as well as third-party feedstock, to obtain copper cathodes, elemental sulphur and sulphuric acid for the production needs of Polar Division.

PGM Concentrator (part of Copper Plant) recycles slime from the Tankhouse to produce concentrates of precious metals and technical selenium.

Precious metals produced by Polar Division are refined at Krasnoyarsk Precious Metals Refinery under a tolling agreement.

At Polar Division, metals are produced from its own feed. Since Q4 2016, all nickel converter matte from Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant has been processed at Kola MMC due to the Nickel Plant shutdown.

Metals output
Metal 2016 2017 2018
Nickel, kt 50.9 0 0
Copper, kt 280.3 306.9 353.1
Palladium, koz 1,703 956 987
Platinum, koz 449 259 260