#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In 2016, the reserves of the Mokulaevskoye field underwent an examination by the State Commission on Reserves and were put on the state balance sheet. The deposit discoverers were Norilsk geologists Konstantin Kradenov, Vladimir Van-Chan and Tatyana Taraskina. In March 2017, Nornickel received a license for exploration and production at this facility.
The Mokulaevskoye field is located 6 kilometers from the geologists’ base of in Talnah. The implementation of the Nornickel greenfield project began in the summer of 2021. On June 16, contractors began working on the cutting trench. Stripping work is underway now.
“We haven’t got to the limestone yet, we’re stripping”, explains Andrey Lenkov, deputy general director for capital construction of the Norilsk Support Complex. “The target for the current year is 625,000 tons of overburden. They have to be removed and laid in accordance with the project in a dump. Prior to this, work was carried out to remove the surface layer of the soil. The project provides for its storage with subsequent use for reclamation after the quarry has been worked out. The project passed an environmental review, public hearings, there were no complaints from the public”.
The dimensions of the quarry in 2022 will be up to 50 meters deep, 350 meters wide and just over one kilometer long. After commissioning in 2026, 6.5 million tons of limestone per year will be mined there.
“The Mokulaevskoye mine is providing the raw material base for the complex projects of the Nornickel’s Sulfur Program, which is part of the Clean Air program of the Ecology national project”, says Andrey Lenkov. “Sulfur dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere, will be captured and sent to the sulfuric acid production. After obtaining sulfuric acid, it is neutralized with limestone from the Mokulaevskoye deposit, resulting in a harmless product – gypsum. Now we are engaged in the construction of access roads and the infrastructure for the safe performance of stripping, mining and crushing. The crushing complex is designed to produce limestone of the fractional composition required for the Sulfur Program.
Andrey Lenkov explains where the figure of the final limestone production of 6.5 million tons per year comes from:
“Operating activities of the Polar Division – cement production – and metallurgical processing require a million tons of raw materials per year. The Sulfur Program, when it reaches its peak capacity, will need 5.5 million tons. Here the figure of 6.5 million comes from. Currently, limestone is being mined at the Izvestnyakov mine of the Kayerkansky mine, but its reserves are depleted”.
The development area of the Mokulaevskoye deposit after reaching the design capacity will be 12 square kilometers. A winter road is traditionally laid on this site. The construction does not mean that the road will be closed, Andrey Lenkov explained:
“We have a five-party agreement with all administrations where the mine is located. We undertook the obligation to safely escort everyone who wants to pass through the territory of the hazardous production facility, but assigned the administrations of Taimyr and Norilsk the duty to notify us of such facts in a timely manner, so that we would be prepared to escort hunters, fishermen or residents of remote villages”.
Sergey Markitan, the director of the Mokulaevskoye mine under construction, has already appreciated the diversity of Norilsk underground treasures.
“The Norilsk area is full of minerals, all minerals are present here and it is extremely interesting to work them out”, says Sergey Markitan. “Today we are at the +48th mark, and from the 40th mark in the first quarter of 2022, we will be involved in the production of limestone in the amount of 40 thousand tons. In the same year, the construction of the main step-down substation is planned, and a railway will be built to transport limestone”.
Limestones at Mokulaevskoye field will be mined by open pit: the seam is not deep, it will not be necessary to build a mine, which is very economical and will allow rapidly expanding plans.
Text: Tatyana Rychkova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko