Nickel and palladium miner Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) has completed the Talnakh concentrator modernisation project, in Russia’s Arctic region. Talnakh Concentrator of Nornickel’s Polar Division has reached the project design parameters and capacity in line with the targets set by the modernization project.
The plant’s total throughput capacity has increased over 30% from 7.6 to 10.2 mtpa of ore, metal losses in tailings have been reduced, while target nickel and copper recovery rates to the collective concentrate as well as the target quality of nickel-pyrrhotite and copper concentrates have been reached. Following the upgrade and expansion of capacity of Talnakh Concentrator, Nornickel continues fully meeting its metal production targets whilst utilizing smaller smelting capacity.
The project’s total capex exceeded RUB 47 bn. In addition to higher operating efficiency and increased throughput, the upgrade programme also aimed at reducing the environmental footprint: higher sulphur disposal to tailings combined with the shutdown of the Nickel Plant have helped cutting sulphur dioxide emissions in the Norilsk Industrial District.
The major modernisation project of Talnakh Concentrator launched in 2014 was split into two stages and additionally involved construction of major engineering infrastructure for a new tailings pit. The Concentrator’s reconstruction and technical upgrade project involved the expansion of the main building, installation of a unique semi-autogenous grinding mill with a capacity of 10.2 mtpa of ore by Metso Minerals, flotation machines, and fine grinding mills. The new tailings pit has a capacity of approximately 6 mtpa using a closed water circuit, which will significantly reduce fresh water usage and improve the environmental impact.
“In March 2017, Talnakh Concentrator reached the targeted throughput capacity, and in April, the design parameters. Going forward, we will focus on enhancing the Talnakh Concentrator’s operating performance”, Sergey Dyachenko, First Vice-president of Nornickel, said.