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Russian company shells out billions for Arctic environment projects

The first project was implemented under a cooperation agreement between Nornickel and the Murmansk regional government

MURMANSK, January 26. /TASS/. The Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company (Kola MMC, a part of Nornickel) invested in environmental projects in the Murmansk Region 4 billion rubles ($71 million), Nornickel’s Vice President Elena Bezdenezhnykh said on Friday.

"The company has implemented a project on utilization of drained salts in nickel refining" worth 1.7 billion rubles ($30.2 million)," she told the Murmansk regional government’s meeting. "We have liquidated the shop of concentrate roasting and changed technology process at the smelting shop - we are now using 100% briquettes, and the investments there are 2.3 billion rubles ($40.8 million)."

According to her, the first project was implemented under a cooperation agreement between Nornickel and the Murmansk regional government. The built facility for utilization of drained salts allows returning the waste into the technology process as well as to produce salts for sale. Within a year, the company produced more than 4.5 thousand tonnes of sodium sulfate and more than 600 tonnes of sodium chloride for sale - formerly, the saline effluent was discharged into the water facilities.

In late 2017, Kola MMC’s CEO Igor Ryshkel said in an interview with TASS, the company plans investing in ecology-related projects more than 20 billion rubles, ($343 million). "First of all, those are projects on modernization of nickel production, and besides, in Zapolyarny town we shall begin construction of new treatment facilities at the Severnyi mine," he said then.

The Kola Mining and Metallurgical Company is a leading production complex in the Murmansk Region - a major producer of non-ferrous metals, including strategic metals. The company is the world’s biggest nickel refining enterprise and Russia’s only producer of electrolytic cobalt of highest grades. Kola MMC produces 39% of nickel and 42% of cobalt the Norilsk Nickel Company produces. The products are supplied to the domestic market and exported to European countries.