The USSR Council of People’s Commissars resolved to build Norilsk Plant.
The first batch of converter matte was produced, with Norilsk Plant opening a Nickel Electrolysis Shop in 1943.
Norilsk was granted the status of a town, with Norilsk Plant producing 35% of nickel, 12% of copper, 30% of cobalt and 90% of PGM from the Soviet Union’s total metal output.
The Talnakhskoye Field, the world’s largest deposit of copper-nickel ores, was discovered giving a new lease of life to Norilsk Plant. Works started to build mines and the town of Talnakh on the Taimyr Peninsula.
The Oktyabrskoye Field, a deposit of copper-nickel ores, was discovered.
Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant and the first stage of Talnakh Concentrator were put on stream.
A decree of the President of the Russian Federation transformed the Norilsk Nickel State Concern for the Production of Precious and Non-Ferrous Metals into Russian Joint Stock Company (RJSC) Norilsk Nickel for the Production of Precious and Non-Ferrous Metals.
RJSC Norilsk Nickel's assets were privatised.
The Company was restructured, with shareholders of RJSC Norilsk Nickel exchanging 96.6% of their stock to the shares of MMC Norilsk Nickel. The Company’s shares were listed on the RTS and MICEX stock exchanges, while, in June, the Company started issuing Level-1 ADRs with MMC Norilsk Nickel shares as the underlying asset.
Nornickel obtained a follow-up exploration licence for the Maslovskoye Field and in four years from then entered its reserves into the government books as follows: 728 kt of nickel, over 1.1 mt of copper, 12.5 m oz of platinum and 1.3 m oz of gold.
The Company created its own icebreaker fleet of reinforced ice class vessels having the distinction of being the first Arctic shipping vehicles to be awarded the highest ARC 7 ice class.
Vladimir Potanin’s team changed the management structure of Nornickel. The Board of Directors adopted a new development strategy. The Company decided to focus on the Tier-1 assets of Polar Division and Kola MMC.
Disposal of overseas and non-core assets: the Company sold its Western Australian gold mining assets (North Eastern Goldfields Operations (NEGO)), nickel assets (Lake Johnston, Cawse, Avalon, Black Swan and Silver Swan), and stakes in energy companies.
The Company piloted Stage 1 of Talnakh Concentrator in Norilsk.
Norilsk Nickel celebrated its 80th anniversary marking the 80 years of exploring the Russian Arctic. Russian President Vladimir Putin commended MMC Norilsk Nickel’s team for their valuable contribution to the development of the Russian metals industry and excellent operating performance.
The Nickel Plant shutdown project was completed, which helped cut sulphur dioxide emissions in Norilsk and thereby mitigate the environmental impact.
The Company completed rebranding: the new Nornickel logo symbolises the ongoing changes, while Aspirations and Reliability were chosen as the Company’s key attributes.
Giving a start to Russia’s Year of Environment, Nornickel opened a visitor centre at the Pasvik Reserve.
WWF Russia named the Company among the country’s top 10 environmentally responsible mining companies releasing its first-ever rating of the Russian miners and their impact on the environment and biodiversity.
Nornickel completed the Talnakh Concentrator upgrade project, ramping up its capacity by more than 30% to ensure that all metal output targets are met.
Nornickel and BASF signed a Memorandum of Understanding and announced exclusive talks on the prospects of supplying raw materials for lithium-ion battery components to European producers.
Nornickel constructed a fibre optic communication line (FOCL) between Novy Urengoy and Norilsk. With a 40 Gbps bandwidth, the 956 km line has facilitated access to digital services on the Taimyr Peninsula and enabled more effective cooperation between the Company’s units.
Hot commissioning started at Bystrinsky GOK, the largest greenfield project in the Russian metals industry.
Nornickel was commended by experts for its transparent environmental policy along with its environmental protection efforts and highly effective initiatives implemented during the Year of Environment in Russia.
Nornickel and Russian Platinum signed a strategic partnership agreement to set up a 50/50 joint venture (JV) with a view to developing the Norilsk Industrial District deposits. The partners’ contributions to the authorised capital of the JV will come in the form of a licence to develop the Maslovskoye Field held by Nornickel and a licence to develop the southern part of the Norilsk-1 Field and the Chernogorskoye Field held by Russian Platinum.
Moody’s upgraded Nornickel’s credit rating to Ваа3 (investment grade) and raised its outlook to positive. The Company’s credit ratings from all the three international rating agencies (Fitch, Moody’s and S&P Global) currently qualify as investment grade.
Copper Plant embarked on the Sulphur Project, Nornickel’s most ambitious initiative to dramatically improve environment in the Norilsk Industrial District.
Norilsk Airport completed the runway renovation spanning three summers
Nornickel and BASF signed a long-term agreement to supply nickel and cobalt feedstock from Norilsk Nickel’s Harjavalta refinery. The agreement is part of the Company’s ambitious strategy to step up its exports of battery materials to the global market.
The Company started phased hot commissioning at Bystrinsky GOK, with the first batch of copper concentrate shipped to China as early as in April. As at the year-end, the facility produced 19.4 kt of copper concentrate.
Bystrinsky GOK was commissioned. The GRK Bystrinskoye’s EBITDA for 1H 2019 was USD 160 mln, for FY 2019 — USD 349 mln.
Nornickel took final investment decisions for two attractive growth projects — expansion and retrofit of the 3rd stage of Talnakh Concentrator and the South Cluster development. The two projects’ combined CAPEX (for
Moody’s upgraded Nornickel’s credit rating to “Baa2”, investment grade, and changed the outlook from “Stable” to “Positive”.
Nornickel was ranked No. 1 by Forbes in its Russia’s Top-50 employers rating.
Nornickel’s Corporate Integrated Quality and Environmental Management System (CIMS) successfully passed its second surveillance audit for compliance with ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.
Nornickel won the gold award in the Business Transformation Category at SAP Quality Awards 2019 in the CIS region for its project to roll out SAP ERP across its operations in the Norilsk Industrial District. This is Nornickel’s largest business automation project and one of SAP’s largest Russian projects in terms of organisational and functional scope.
The General Meeting of Shareholders refreshed the Board of Directors, with a majority of the Board comprised of independent directors for the first time in Nornickel’s history.
At Nornickel’s annual Capital Markets Day in London, the Group’s senior management unveiled Nornickel’s
As Krasnoyarsk hosted the 2019 Winter Universiade, Nornickel supported this major international sporting event, acting as its general partner. Nornickel’s contribution to the success of the student games was highly praised by international sports federations, participating countries, the local organising committee, and Russia’s leadership while also earning the Company a number of prestigious awards.
Nornickel entered into a letter of intent with Fortum and BASF to establish a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta based on its own nickel refining factory, which will ensure the successful development of a full cycle supply chain and significantly reduce carbon emissions from the production of battery materials for electric vehicles.
Nornickel spent about RUB 12 billion (USD 157 million) to fight COVID-19, directing the funds towards supporting to safeguard the health and safety of its employees and purchasing personal protection equipment, COVID-19 tests, medicines and medical equipment across its footprint. The Company provided benefits and subsidies to SMEs operating in Norilsk.
As part of the response to the accident fuel spill near Norilsk in May, Nornickel immediately commenced remediation activities and engaged one of the leading international industrial safety consultants, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), to conduct an independent assessment of the spill causes. Significant changes were also made to corporate governance, including the setup of a Risk Committee, introduction of a Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development role, creation of an Environmental Department, an Environmental Monitoring Centre, as part of risk management and internal control.
Nornickel initiated the Great Norilsk Expedition, which included studies by researchers from 14 institutes of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences to identify the causes and implications of the incident at CHPP-3, but also to launch an ambitious and comprehensive programme to research ecosystems on the Taimyr Peninsula and climate changes over the last decades. To assess the impact of the incident on local communities, a special ethnogeographic expedition was carried out, which focused on studies of indigenous peoples of the North living on the Taimyr Peninsula.
The Company reinvented its approaches to environmental safety, with USD 5.5 billion out of the USD 27 billion allocated for Nornickel’s investment programme up to 2030 to be directed towards the environmental programme and another USD 1.3 billion towards improving the industrial safety of infrastructure.
A smelting shop in Nikel, located in the cross-border area with Norway, was shut down in December 2020 as part of the implementation of the comprehensive Sulphur Programme, Nornickel’s largest environmental initiative aimed at significantly reducing sulphur dioxide emissions in Norilsk and on the Kola Peninsula
As a result, already in 2020, sulphur dioxide emissions were reduced by 71% from a 2015 baseline in Nikel and Zapolyarny and by 58% in the Russia—Norway border area.
The Group’s core operations have been grouped into three divisions — Norilsk, Kola and Trans-Baikal. In addition to major production assets, the divisions comprise support enterprises. Division-level investment limits not requiring the approval of the corporate centre were increased. The new division-based system will accelerate decision-making and improve accountability of production site management.
Nornickel sold its Honeymoon Well Nickel Project in Western Australia to BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd. The deal also included Albion Downs North and Jericho Joint Ventures, both being exploration projects where BHP already owned the remaining 50% stake.
In December 2020, Nornickel’s Global Palladium Fund issued the first tokens to digitise some of the contracts with major industrial partners, Traxys SA and Umicore SA, taking the first meaningful step towards shifting to digital trading tools to ensure efficiency and transparency throughout the supply chain.
Nornickel’s Global Palladium Fund issued physically-backed nickel Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs) on Europe’s largest stock exchanges. The new instruments offer investors low-cost access to commodity markets.
Rock mass removal at Bystrinsky GOK totalled 100 mcm, a culmination of the facility’s consistent efforts in line with the mining schedule at Verkhneildikansky and Bystrinsky-2 open pit mines.
In March, Nornickel shut down pyrometallurgical production in Kola MMC’s metallurgical shop, helping to bring sulphur dioxide emissions in Monchegorsk to less than 30,000 tonnes per year. This is yet another step in Nornickel’s comprehensive environmental programme designed to significantly reduce the environmental impact of all its production sites.
The shutdown of Kola MMC’s smelting operations in Nikel and metallurgical shop in Monchegorsk resulted in an 85% decline in sulphur dioxide emissions in the Kola Peninsula in 2021 compared to 2015.
In June, Nornickel’s Board of Directors approved the Environmental and Climate Change Strategy, which is designed to boost the group’s environmental performance.
In June, Nornickel provided support to initiate a major ten-year programme to clean up and revamp territories in Norilsk. The Company will invest some RUB 40 bn in the programme.
At the Eastern Economic Forum, Nornickel, Rosatom and the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Centre signed an agreement to design and build an LNG icebreaker to escort ships carrying Nornickel’s cargoes along the Northern Sea Route.
Nornickel launched Ust-Khantayskaya HPP following an upgrade, which became one of the stages of a programme to modernise energy infrastructure of the Norilsk Industrial District.
In December, the Russian Government approved a comprehensive development plan for Norilsk. In line with the document, a total of RUB 120 bn will be allocated to the city until 2035. Of this amount, Nornickel is to provide over RUB 80 bn. The plan sets out activities to spur the development of Norilsk.
In April, Nornickel completed an unprecedented operation, having installed the first heat exchangers on the site of the Sulphur Project, the Company’s flagship environmental programme. Each heat exchanger weighs 130 to 200 tonnes. All in all, the Company built 28 installations over a year to make a single sulphuric acid neutralisation facility. The project will result in a 90% reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions after 2025.
In February, Nornickel’s Global Palladium Fund launched the world’s first Electric Vehicle Metals ETC. The new instrument provides investors with a simple and cost-effective way of accessing these metals, bringing potential diversification and inflation-hedging benefits to portfolios.
In March, an integrated control unit was put in operation at the Buildings and Structures Monitoring Centre of Nornickel’s Norilsk Division. The control unit ensures safe and reliable use of buildings and structures in the harsh Arctic climate. About RUB 1.4 bn was invested in the project’s first phase alone.
In June, Nornickel and the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor) signed two agreements aimed at preserving the environment and ensuring environmental safety. The documents were signed during the working visit of Svetlana Radionova, Head of Rosprirodnadzor, to Norilsk.
Nornickel and the Government of the Murmansk Region have agreed to partner in implementing local investment and social projects. The relevant memorandum was signed during the St Petersburg International Economic Forum by Andrey Chibis, Governor of the Murmansk Region, and Sergey Dubovitsky, Senior Vice President for Strategy, Strategic Projects, Logistics and Procurement at Nornickel.
With support from the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Nornickel established IN’HUB, a platform for inventors and innovators that will help set up a new global innovation centre in association with international partners.
Nornickel ran the Arctic’s first import substitution forum. The forum participants discussed whether the domestic industry sector had sufficient capacities to meet the needs of Nornickel and Russia’s other large businesses for supplies and equipment. A special focus was made on government measures to support the business, and incentives for entrepreneurs in the Arctic Region.
In November, the President of the Russian Federation awarded Norilsk an honorary title of the City of Labour Valour.