2021 sustainability report

Soil protection
and responsible
mining

Land protection

Nornickel’s main priority is to reduce and, where possible, prevent negative impact on land resources caused by production and delivery operations. We are committed to progressive rehabilitation of land used in construction and mining or affected by emissions from our operations.

The Company plans to develop an approach to assessing the current and legacy effects of mining, construction, and incidents on land.

Nornickel is developing the Oktyabrskoye, Talnakhskoye and Norilsk-1 deposits on the Taimyr Peninsula, Zhdanovskoye, Zapolyarnoye, Kotselvaara and Semiletka deposits on the Kola Peninsula, and the Bystrinskoye Deposit in the Trans-Baikal Territory.

The Company has field development, mine liquidation and land rehabilitation project documents in place for all of its deposits. It is at the project design stage that we assess the environmental impact of deposit development and make a list of measures to prevent or mitigate potential negative effects on the environment while ensuring sustainable use of natural resources. The project design documents provide for layouts, slopes, hydraulic and irrigation structures, and other technical measures.

Nornickel’s deposits are in commercial development, exploration or production test stages with liquidation or abandonment not expected until 2050 and special provisions set aside for rehabilitation activities.

Environmental protection and monitoring measures taken during the deposit life cycle

Environmental protection and monitoring measures taken during the deposit life cycle

Disturbed and rehabilitated land area in 2021, ha

304-3 ММ1

Including:
Indicator
Total
during mining
during construction
during disposal of solid domestic and industrial waste
during other activities

Indicator

Total disturbed area, beginning of period*

Total

16,375

during mining

13,871

during construction

1,047

during disposal of solid domestic and industrial waste

741

during other activities

716

Indicator

Total rehabilitated area*

Total

0

during mining

0

during construction

0

during disposal of solid domestic and industrial waste

0

during other activities

0

Indicator

Total disturbed area in the reporting period

Total

207

during mining

146

during construction

19

during disposal of solid domestic and industrial waste

41

during other activities

0

Indicator

Total disturbed area, end of period

Total

16 581

during mining

14 018

during construction

1 066

during disposal of solid domestic and industrial waste

782

during other activities

716

The Company complies with all applicable regulations for land rehabilitation and other environmental protection initiatives associated with field development, construction and other operations.

In 2021, Nornickel completed the first stage of the programme to rehabilitate the land contaminated by the fuel spill at HPP-3 in Norilsk, with the final second stage scheduled for 2022.

Nornickel traditionally takes part in urban greening projects in Norilsk, Dudinka, Monchegorsk, Zapolyarny, and Nickel. Together with local authorities and the Company’s volunteers, we run a remediation programme to clean up and improve public spaces and areas around motorways, protect water bodies and water reserves, and revamp tourist camping sites.

Responsible exploration and field development

Nornickel focuses closely on the exploration and development of untapped resources to replenish its resource base. Exploration activities include geophysical and geochemical surveys and drilling at promising subsoil areas across the Company’s current operations. Exploration is carried out both within and outside of Nornickel’s footprint. The Company sees a significant potential for the discovery of new deposits and plans to continue exploration to unlock it.

The Group’s exploration activities are subject to various regulations of the Russian Federation covering environmental protection, occupational health, industrial and fire safety. Furthermore, Nornickel assesses its environmental protection obligations based on the requirements of applicable laws in various jurisdictions, terms of licence agreements and internal engineering estimates as interpreted by the Company’s management.

In order to assess, monitor and predict the environmental situation during exploration, development and operation of deposits to make competent management decisions aimed at preserving habitats and ensuring environmental safety of traditional trades, we conduct environmental monitoring at all stages of exploration and development.

Nornickel seeks to keep ecosystem intact, avoid exploration at protected natural areas and world heritage sites, and ensure no negative impact on traditional trades, cultural heritage, interests and traditional lifestyles of indigenous peoples as part of its exploration activities.

In addition to environmental monitoring, exploration is accompanied by a set of measures to protect the subsoil, topsoil, vegetation and water bodies. Upon completion of reserve exploration, disturbed land is subject to rehabilitation including liquidation of drilling sites, neutralisation of soil contaminated with fuel and lubricants, as well as land levelling. The land plots are brought to a condition suitable for further use according to their intended purpose.

Environmental impact of exploration activities

Activity
Source of impact
Type of impact
Object of impact
Environmental activities

Activity

Preparatory works:

  • Drilling site layout
  • Equipment transportation and storage
  • Construction of storage facilities for chemicals, fuel and lubricants

Source of impact

  • Road transport
  • Exhaust gases of motor vehicles, construction and road machinery
  • Excavated soil
  • Materials for site construction and preparation of drilling mud and cement slurries

Type of impact

  • Physical disturbance of the fertile soil layer, natural landscapes, thermal abuse, degradation of topsoil layers
  • Ecosystem disturbance, changes in the flora and fauna habitats

Object of impact

  • Fertile soil layer on drilling equipment sites, routes of linear facilities
  • Flora and fauna, atmospheric air, soil, ground, surface water, landscape

Environmental activities

  • Compliance with land allotment standards
  • Land rehabilitation
  • Construction of trays and platforms at machinery parking lots
  • Soil protection measures
  • Fire safety measures

Activity

Well drilling

Source of impact

  • Mud mixing unit
  • Drilling waste circulating system
  • Chemicals used for drilling and plugging
  • Waste products (mud spills, slime)
  • Domestic wastewater
  • Solid domestic waste
  • Crossflows inside the annulus and damaged casing string

Type of impact

  • Ecosystem disturbance and changes in habitats of certain plant and animal species
  • Machinerygenerated noise

Object of impact

  • Flora and fauna, soils, subsoil, surface and underground water, air
  • Animal and human habitats
  • Snow and water

Environmental activities

  • Compliance with requirements for the completeness of the study and use of subsoil
  • Planning protective measures based on the results of hydrological, geotechnical and environmental monitoring
  • Well plugging

Activity

Well abandonment and mothballing

Source of impact

  • Leaks in casing, casing pipes, wellhead equipment, mineralised water

Type of impact

  • Ecosystem disturbance and changes in habitats of certain plant and animal species

Object of impact

  • Flora and fauna, soils, surface and underground water, air, animal and human habitats

Environmental activities

  • Plug and abandonment operations
  • Rehabilitation

Exploration areas of Nornickel Group in 2021

Area/deposit
Location
Types of minerals

Area/deposit

Mikchangdinskaya area

Location

Taimyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District, Krasnoyarsk Territory

Types of minerals

Copper-nickel sulphide ores

Area/deposit

Yuzhno-Norilskaya area

Location

Taimyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District, Krasnoyarsk Territory

Types of minerals

Copper-nickel sulphide ores

Area/deposit

Arylakhskaya area

Location

Taimyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District, Krasnoyarsk Territory

Types of minerals

Copper-nickel sulphide ores

Area/deposit

Oktyabrskoye Deposit

Location

Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory

Types of minerals

Copper-nickel sulphide ores

Area/deposit

Western flank of the Oktyabrskoye Deposit

Location

Norilsk, Krasnoyarsk Territory

Types of minerals

Copper-nickel ores

Area/deposit

Mokulaevskoye Deposit

Location

Taimyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District, Krasnoyarsk Territory

Types of minerals

Limestone

Area/deposit

Alenuyskaya area

Location

Alexandrovo-Zavodsky District, Trans-Baikal Territory

Types of minerals

Gold, silver, iron ore, copper ore, molybdenum ore

Area/deposit

Mostovskaya area

Location

Mogochinsky District, Trans-Baikal Territory

Types of minerals

Gold, silver, copper ore, molybdenum ore

Area/deposit

Dogyinskaya area

Location

Gazimuro-Zavodsky District, Trans-Baikal Territory

Types of minerals

Gold-copper ores, gold-silver ores