ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Georgy Maslov pointed to the area prospects back in the 1960s. September 2009 is considered the official date of the deposit status recognition, when the materials for calculating reserves were examined by the State Reserves Commission. Today, the Maslovskoye field is part of Nornickel’s Southern Cluster project and will be developed in partnership with Russian Platinum.
The business portal NEDRADV calls the Maslovskoye deposit one of the world’s largest in terms of sulfide platinum-copper-nickel ores. It was named after the geologist Georgy Maslov, who joined the Norilsk combine’s geological department in 1942.
For several years, Georgy Dmitrievich led a group for non-metallic minerals prospecting and exploration. In the 1950s, he found, calculated reserves and put on the state balance sheet deposits of brick siltstone, building and flux sands, brick clays and cement limestones near Norilsk, which made it possible to expand the construction of industrial and civil facilities in the Norilsk industrial region. In 1958, after graduating from graduate school, he took up the search for ore treasures as the Norilsk integrated geological exploration expedition’s geological party head.
The author of the Taimyr Toponymy book Anna Barbolina formulates Maslov’s professional merits in the following way:
“Georgy Dmitrievich, for the first time in the geology practice in the 1958–1960s, applied the doctrine of deep faults in the specific geological situation of the region, singled out the Norilsk deep ore-controlling fault, which made it possible to concentrate prospecting work on the most promising area in the Talnah river valley – Haraelah”.
The geologist is rightly called one of the discoverers of the unique Talnah deposit of copper-nickel sulfide ores. He put on the geological maps the point where he saw the prospect of discovering another underground treasure, which would later be named after him.
“Georgy Dmitrievich lived a relatively short, but very fruitful life”, Victor Radko, a geologist at Norilsk Nickel Technical Services (formerly known as Norilskgeology), said about his colleague. “He is the author of over 30 geological reports, none of the Norilsk geologists has written more. Maslov was a man of colossal capacity for work and the brightest mind. He created the stratigraphy of the Norilsk region and the first geological maps at a scale of 1:50,000, which are still not just a model, but a standard of thoroughness and reliability”.
Copper-nickel ores in the area of the Maslovskoye deposit were first discovered by wells in 1975, after the Georgy Maslov’s death, and the area name was assigned in 1981 at the Krasnoyarskgeology’s scientific and technical meeting.
In 2006, Norilsk Nickel received a license for additional exploration of the deposit. A large team of geologists, drillers and geophysicists from Norilskgeology was actively involved in its research.
The official date of the Maslovskoye platinum-copper-nickel deposit status recognition is September 2009, when the State Reserves Commission recognized the presence of rich veinlet ores in it, similar in terms of conditions to Talnah ores. The events protagonist was a young geologist Konstantin Kovalchuk, a responsible executor of geological exploration work. In October 2009, Rosnedra (the Federal Agency for Subsoil Use) approved a protocol on putting reserves on the state balance. Norilsk Nickel received a development license.
“In Russia, there are classifications of deposits according to the volume of ore and metals: small, medium, large. The Maslovskoye deposit is large in terms of non-ferrous metals, in terms of precious metals it is out of the classification, in geological slang – it is gigantic, super-large”, Sergey Snisar, the Norilskgeology chief geologist at that time, told.
The Maslovskoye deposit, which is part of the company’s prospective project Southern Cluster, is located 15 kilometers south of the Medvezhiy Ruchey enterprise’s objects and the Zapolyarny mine of the Norilsk-1 deposit. Nornickel plans to develop the Maslovskoye deposit in partnership with Russian Platinum.
Norilsk geologists ordered a memorial plaque made of durable Sayanogorsk serpentine for Maslov’s grave. There is a photograph and an inscription on the board: “Georgy Dmitrievich Maslov, the Talnah copper-nickel ores deposit discoverer, Hero of Socialist Labor”. And the dates of life and death: 08/28/2015–09/06/1968. Seekers of the Taimyr bowels wealth believe that touching this monument brings geological luck.
“Georgy Dmitrievich has not left us to this day. We use his ideas and feed on the spirit of pioneering”, Victor Radko says.
Text: Tatyana Rychkova, Photo: from the editorial archive