MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Partial collapse of Nornickel’s Arctic processing plant

Published by MAC on 2021-02-24
Source: Reuters, PRNewswire

Three people have been reported dead in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia.

Another disaster for Norilsk as the company is desperate to 'green' up its image to sell nickel for batteries. Three people have been reported dead and five others have been rescued when the roof in an enrichment plant unexpectedly collapsed at 4:15am local time on the morning of 20 February 2021.

The Arctic environment and production security at Nornickel’s assets have been in the spotlight since a major fuel leak at its power plant near the city of Norilsk and a list of smaller incidents in 2020.

An update on one of the world's most lethally destructive companies anywhere, and which MAC has targetted consistently.

See also:

2021-02-05 Nornickel to pay €1.62 billion for Arctic oil spill

 

Three people die in partial collapse of Nornickel’s Arctic processing plant

Reuters - https://www.mining.com/web/three-people-die-in-partial-collapse-of-nornickels-arctic-processing-plant/?

21 February 2021 

Three workers died after a processing plant owned by Russian mining giant Norilsk Nickel in Arctic Siberia partially collapsed during maintenance, the company and officials said on Saturday, as the miner’s shares fell by 3.6%.

The Arctic environment and production security at Nornickel’s assets have been in the spotlight since a major fuel leak at its power plant near the city of Norilsk and a list of smaller accidents in 2020.

Nornickel has said it will build up its industrial safety with 100 billion roubles ($1.4 billion) of investment within 5 years.

“This accident shows that apparently, these efforts are not enough, and we, accepting responsibility for what happened, will tighten requirements for industrial safety and for the people who are responsible for it,” Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel chief executive and the largest shareholder, said on Saturday.

The plant in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia continues to operate with some restrictions, Nornickel said. A regional investigative committee said in a separate statement it had opened a criminal investigation into the accident.

An ore-loading section of the plant collapsed early on Saturday, likely due to violations of safety rules during renovation work to reinforce the building’s structure, Nornickel said. The plant’s head had been suspended from his post.

Earlier this month, Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and a leading producer of nickel, was fined $2 billion for the damage caused by the major fuel spill last year.

(By Polina Devitt and Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Mark Heinrich)


Nornickel Takes Full Responsibility for Concentrator Collapse

MMC Norilsk Nickel

Feb 20, 2021

NORILSK, Russia, Feb. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Three people have been reported dead and five others have been rescued when the roof in an enrichment plant unexpectedly collapsed at 4:15am local time on the morning of 20 February 2021. The oldest in a series of enrichment processing plants in the Norilsk industrial region was undergoing renovations by Nornickel's own construction subsidiary.

Nornickel's emergency response centre is providing complete medical and other necessary assistance to the victims and their families, and is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its employees and contractors at the site. Nornickel takes full responsibility for the collapse and is conducting a thorough review of the Concentrator, implementing additional industrial safety measures across its operations to ensure that no such accidents happen again.

Vladimir Potanin, Nornickel's CEO, stated: "We take full responsibility for the tragic accident and are doing everything we can to support the victims and their families at this difficult time. The accident happened overnight, due to a severe violation of the safety rules. Nornickel has always treated industrial safety as its highest priority. We are undertaking a full review and are focused on strengthening our safety efforts even further."  Earlier, the Company revealed its commitment to spend 100bln roubles ($1.35bln) over 5 years on industrial safety measures.

Nornickel's emergency response is continuing its investigation of the accident. Over 70 responders from the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the military mountain rescue unit and the gas rescue service, along with 15 units of rescue equipment are involved in the rescue operations.  The repairs on the plant, built in 1947, were carried out by Norilsknickelremont. Nornickel expressed deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, and the Company will provide all assistance necessary to these families.

 

 

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