Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper, announced that the internal investigation regarding the discharge of recycled water from Talnakh Concentrator’s technical water sump on June 28, has been completed.
The investigation discovered two instances of unauthorized industrial water discharge from a recycled water sump, part of Talnakh Concentrator’s tailings dam system, into an adjacent area using flexible pipes and floating pumps.
The water samples taken from Talnakh Concentrator’s technical water sump on June 28 indicated that the water discharge should not have any material impact on the environment and, most importantly, on the Kharaelakh River. An inspection survey conducted jointly with the Center of Laboratory Analysis and Technical Measurements, part of the Environment Supervision Agency, confirmed there was no impact on the Norilskaya River.
Nevertheless, the company said no recycled water discharge is allowed beyond the boundaries of Talnakh Concentrator’s tailings dam. Although the company has no evidence that similar violations have been committed previously, it said it could not completely rule them out.
“Any violations of industrial safety or environmental protection should be completely eradicated,” Nornickel First Vice President and COO Sergey Dyachenko said. “Nornickel announces zero tolerance toward environmental violations and will take harsh disciplinary actions whenever such violations take place.”
Upon completion of the internal investigation, director, chief engineer and deputy chief engineer, operations and industrial and environmental safety of hydraulic structures, of Talnakh Concentrator have been dismissed due to gross misconduct. A new department is being set up to focus solely on technical support and instrumental supervision of hydraulic structures of the Polar Division.