Acron launches the Oleniy Ruchey
Two years after it started construction works, Acron’s Northwest Phosphorous Company last week officially lauched the Oleniy Ruchey project, the major phosphorous mine located in the central parts of the Kola Peninsula.
“This project has no peer in modern Russian industry, Acron Coordinating Board Chairman Viacheslav Kantor said during the ceremony held at the site last week. He added that “twelve years of political stability in Russia” had been a key element in the project’s success, a press release informs.
The Northwest Phosphorous Company, a subsidiary of industrial giant Acron, has invested $430 million in the project, which will give an annual one million ton ore production. Output will increase to an annual two million tons in 2017 when a second project phase will be launched.
The project includes both open pit and underground mining. The first ton of ore was extracted at the site already in November 2011. However, it took another eight months to complete the processing plant.
Commenting on the project, Murmansk Deputy Governor Aleksei Tyukavin said that this is the first new industrial project in Murmansk Oblast in several decades, which has been developed “from scratch”. The project is an important signal to investors, Tyukavin said. “It shows that it is possible to create new enterprises in our region”, he underlined, and added that the current regional government is facilitating business development with favourable tax breaks, a press release reads.
Located in the Khibiny mountains, a popular tourist destination with a vulnerable ecosystem, the project has triggered criticism from environmentalists, who fear that expanding industrialization ultimately will ruin the area. In connection with the project development, a total of 89 construction objects have been built at the site, 13,000 tons of metal structures assembled, 41 km of pipelines laid and over 40 km of roads built.
Acron also controls the license to the Partomchorr field, another phosphorous ore deposit located in the area and intends to connect the two fields with a new road stretching through the mountain massive. This road is now a subject of growing concern among environmentalists.