At that time the plant was the largest and the most modern one in the Arctic. It was believed that it would be able to process and enrich all Norilsk ores. The factory main building’s length was 500 meters.
The first ore from the open-pit mine Ugolny Ruchey (eng.: Coal Creek) arrived at the plant in November. The enrichers tested the equipment on November 5. On December 21, 1948, the Large Concentrating Plant was put into operation. At the same time, the plant began to work according to a permanent technological scheme for the disseminated ores processing.
The first workers memoirs:
“…We started to launch the plant at the end of November. The temperature in the workshop was the same as outside. Could it be high if no motor was running? We were obliged to issue the first concentrate by the Constitution Day on December 5. We got it at nine o’clock in the evening. And – beep! All over Norilsk! When some big event happened the Heating and Power Plant turned on the signal – saluted. First concentrate was thrown away for about a week. There was a quite small sintering plant nearby, the copper plant was being built at the same time. Almost the same production chain existed at the Small Concentration Plant. They began to give the concentrate to metallurgists later, but at the beginning everything had been loaded downhill to the lake”.
The factory was accepted in the post-war years when secrecy was in effect and it was forbidden to voice the real Norilsk mines and plants’ names. Enterprises were identified only by their heads’ names. That was why the Moscow congratulatory telegram in honor of the Large Concentrating Plant launch was published in the following form: “Congratulations to you and the entire builders team on the plants’ commissioning where the heads are comrades Usevich, Loginov, Gorovenko…”.
In the History Spot photo project previous publication, we told about how the Norilsk people celebrated the new year 1936 at the capital’s time.
Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive