Open-pit ore mined in Norilsk despite designers’ doubt

Open-pit ore mined in Norilsk despite designers’ doubt

April 26, 2023

The mainland specialists, who drew up the first project for the Norilsk combine construction, were sure that the northern climate would prevent open ore mining: “Excavators in a quarry will scoop only snow”.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. But open pits were the fastest way to get to the ore. And to combat drifts, the Norilsk people developed a system of snow shields. The combine head Avraamy Zavenyagin himself defended the open method option.

In July 1940, the first explosion occurred at the first open-pit mine, Coal Brook (Ugolny Rouchey). This mine lasted exactly 30 years, its reserves ran out only by 1970.

Another open-pit mine began to be built in 1945. It still works.

Over time, mount Rudnaya, where open work was carried out, changed its configuration. The quarries were deepening, waste rocks were dumped nearby.

On the site of one of the dumps in 1945, they even wanted to land planes. The first ground airfield, Nadezhda, was just being built, and Norilsk urgently needed a temporary landing ground. However, the decision was canceled immediately, because explosions in the quarry could interfered with the aircraft.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we said that Norilsk was first considered as a coal deposit.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

April 26, 2023

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