Nornickel starts hot commissioning at Bystrinsky GOK

Photo: Nornickel

PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel, has launched hot commissioning operations at Bystrinsky GOK (Bystrinsky mining and processing plant).

Bystrinsky GOK is located in the Gazimuro-Zavodsky District of Trans-Baikal Territory, 350 km from Chita, Russia. This area is home to the large Bystrinsky gold-iron-copper deposit containing total ore reserves of some 343 mt that will ensure the project’s operational life in excess of 30 years. Bystrinsky GOK will mine gold-iron-copper ores to produce copper, gold and magnetite concentrates.

The construction of Bystrinsky GOK has become the largest greenfield project in the Russian metals and mining industry. Nornickel has been constructing the plant since 2013 having invested a total of RUB 90 bn in the project, with Sberbank acting as the financial partner and creditor. Upon reaching its annual design capacity of 10 mt of ore, Bystrinsky GOK will become Nornickel’s third major production asset, alongside the company’s core operations on the Taimyr and Kola Peninsulas.

The hot commissioning will last for several months with full-scale operation expected to start by mid-2018 and design capacity to be reached by the end of 2019.

“We are very proud that it took us just four years to build from scratch a plant of a caliber that commensurates of projects completed during the Soviet industrialisation era. For us, this is not just yet another new asset, but also an opportunity to put to work the most advanced technologies in production, social policy, environment and human capital management”, commented Vladimir Potanin, President of Nornickel.

“The capability of Russian business to successfully implement projects of such scale is a clear evidence of stability of the Russian economy and its ability to create new production sites and develop national infrastructure. This project should give a strong boost to development of the Trans-Baikal Territory and the entire Russian industry”, said Denis Manturov, Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, at the official Bystrinsky GOK ceremony.