All news

Academy of Sciences plans second expedition to fuel spill area on Taimyr

The second expedition’s results will adjust Nornickel's plans to invest in environmental rehabilitation

MOSCOW, May 27. /TASS/. The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch will organize the second stage of the Great Expedition to Taimyr, Nornickel’s Vice President on Ecology and Industrial Safety Stanislav Seleznev said during a presentation of the company’s sustainable development report on Wednesday.

In 2020, the Siberian Branch, for the first time over recent years and at the invitation of the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel), sent a big scientific expedition to Taimyr. Scientists conducted large-scale studies of the territory and assessed consequences from the fuel spill near Norilsk in May.

"We are working on the second stage of the expedition to see what has happened over winter and to receive newly updated recommendations regarding a final cleanup," Nornickel’s vice president said.

In 2020, he continued, scientists from 15 research institutes sampled soils, water, and fauna. The company has received professional recommendations about how to improve the environment.

In a conversation with TASS, Nornickel’s representative said the second expedition would begin after the snow melts away. The second expedition’s results will adjust the company’s plans to invest in environmental rehabilitation.

"We have analyzed the conditions in autumn, and then the snow [covered the ground], then it melted, and the high water season [has begun]," he said. "Now we need to analyze once again what happens in the accident’s area so that to update results of the autumn expedition and to adjust or to add what is to be done."

The fuel spill in Norilsk occurred in May 2020, when a tank unsealed, and 20,000 tonnes of fuel flowed out. The Krasnoyarsk Region’s Arbitration Court partially satisfied a claim by the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resource Usage and a fine of 146 billion rubles ($2 billion). Nornickel has settled the fine.

Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world’s largest producer of palladium, and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper. The company also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium, sulphur, and other products. Norilsk Nickel Group’s production units are located in the Norilsk Industrial District, on the Kola Peninsula, and in the Chita region in Russia as well as in Finland and South Africa.