Double purpose mine



The most important stage of the “Severnyi-Glubokiy” mine construction is completed. On May,18 the official opening ceremony of the  “Severnyi-Glubokiy” mine took place on the Pechenga site. For “Norilskiy Nickel” this event became very important – for economic and social efficiency aspects. In such a manner the company enlarged the ore base of Kola Peninsula and also  ensured the work positions for the future generations of its employees. 
In the history of any production company there is a critical moment, when one decision determines the way of the mine development for next several years. In the latest history of Kolskaya Mining Metallurgic company and “Norilskiy nickel” the critical moment was in summer, 2010, when they decided to construct the “Severnyi-Glubokiy” mine. The history of this project is unique.

For the first time the possibility of the project implementation was discussed back in the 90's, when it became clear that the amount of ore in the Kola Peninsula is gradually decreasing and in the next few years, the question about closing the plant "Pechenganickel" may arise. The reason was the depletion of ore reserves in the open pit "Central", the development of which began half a century ago.

Under such conditions the management group of "Norilsk Nickel" had two options to solve the problem. The first option is close the plant "Pechenganickel" after the completion of the industrial development of "Central" deposit.  At the first sight it would be less expensive and risky for the company - such practice is common in the global mining industry. But from the social point of view this situation would lead to a big problem, because hundreds of people would lose their jobs. And due to absence of alternatives in terms of employment, they would be forced to leave the traditional place of residence and move to other parts of Russia. It is obvious that this would be a problem for “Norilskiy Nickel”, Murmansk region and the whole country in the end. Thus, the management group chose the second option –the underground mine construction.
"It was difficult to make a decision under such conditions. The decisive factor was the social focus of the project,"- said Denis Morozov, General Director of MMC, at the press conference, held on May, 18 in Zapolyarnyi.

Long-living mine...
As explained by Yevgeniy Potapov, General Director of KMMC, “Severnyi Glubokiy " is one of the largest underground mines in the non-ferrous metallurgic industry and the largest underground nickel mine (shaft depth - 1280 meters, skips depth - 730 meters).
The total cost of the project is 8.3 billion rubles. The starting point of the construction is considered to be November, 2004, when the first launching complex was commissioned. The ore production reached 1 million tons per year. Three years later the most important stage of the project was completed – the second launching complex was commissioned and the design capacity of 2.5 million tons of ore was reached in 2008.

The third and fourth launching complexes were commissioned in 2008-2010 and the design capacity for 2010 was 6 million tons per year. 
According to Yevgeniy Potapov’s words, the “Severnyi-Glubokiy” mine life period is 30-40 years. But, as explained by the General Director of KMMC, the weight of evidence suggests that in the nearest future, due to constant technology development, it will be possible to mine the ore from deeper levels, so the mine life period can be extended for many more years. However, the KMMC employees believe that their grandchildren will be working at “Severnyi-Glubokiy” mine.

The unique system of ore transportation makes “Severnyi-Glubokiy” mine different from others. It is the bottom discharge system at the depth of 320 meters. “This system provides high productivity as it takes four minutes to charge one set of cars and two minutes to discharge,”- explained Yevgeniy Potapov.  
The mine is equipped with modern technologies, mainly the production of Western companies - lifting machines of German company Siemag, haulage equipment of Canadian company MTI, and Swedish mobile equipment Atlas Copco. The cost of the mine equipment exceeds 4.2 billion rubles.
...its economics
Today we can speak about the positive social effects and economic viability of the project. As was explained by Denis Morozov, in 2000, the management group of "Norilsk Nickel" was carefully analyzing the benefits, and now, in a favorable economic environment, it is clear that the decision to start construction of the mine was not made in vain, and brought double effect to the company and its employees.
Besides this project allows "Norilsk Nickel" to improve its own technology of the ore extraction. Despite the fact that the cost of production of the "Severnyi Glubokiy" is higher than the "Central", this is compensated by content of nickel in ore of "Severnyi Glubokiy" mine. Ultimately, by 2010 this will allow KMMC to increase the production of nickel up to 60 thousand tons comparing to 40 thousand tons today and will guarantee stable level of ore production at the Kola Peninsula in the amount of 7.5 million tons annually, until 2020.

Murmansk Region Governor, Yuriy Evdokimov said that the mine works, lives, overcomes difficulties and operates in accordance with the established plan.

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