Times are getting tougher for nickel miners as prices on their favourite ore drop to the lowest level since 2008. Norilsk Nickel, the world-leading nickel producer, are consequently taking cost-cutting measures at a series of projects, including in the Kola Peninsula.
Company Vice President Pavel Fyodorov this week confirmed to Russian media that operations at the Severny Gluboky, the biggest nickel mine in the Kola Peninsula, will be affected.
Now, company representatives specify that the mine will not be closed, but rather that planned local investments will be slashed.
In a comment to BarentsObserver, Norilsk Nickel press spokesman Petr Likholitov underlines that ”this mine will operate as it was planned, but without expansion”.
When opened in 2007, the Severny Globokii project marked a shift from open pit production to underground extraction. Before that, the Kolskaya GMK was dependent on open pit production from the big Tsentralny mine.
Norilsk Nickel and its regional subsidiary built the mine over a 9-year period and invested about 8,3 billion rubles. The mine today provides jobs to an estimated 2000 people, and resources are believed to be sufficient for another 40 years of production.
The underground production more than doubled the extraction costs compared with the open pit. However a significantly better quality of the underground ore makes up for that, then company director Yevgeny Potapov told Mymetal.ru.