#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In addition, the collection Yenisey Province. 1822–2022. 200 Events in 200 Years is available at the link.
The book also contains many events related to the North, Norilsk and the Norilsk combine development history. Let’s list some of them.
The baron de Toll’s expedition
The collection authors told about the expedition of baron de Toll in 1900, the purpose of which was to find Sannikov Land – the legendary polar ghost continent.
Stuck in the ice of the Arctic Ocean, the researchers described the coasts and islands, gave more than 200 geographical names. Later, at Cape Depot, scientists found canned food and stocks of de Toll’s polar expedition, which had been stored there since 1900. Since 1980, scientists have been experimenting with food storage in the permafrost of Taimyr.
Nikolay Urvantsev’s expedition
Nikolay Urvantsev is called the father-discoverer of the richest Norilsk copper-nickel ores deposits. While studying at the Tomsk Technological Institute, Urvantsev became friends with student Alexander Sotnikov, the grandson of Kipriyan Sotnikov, a merchant from Dudinka, who was trying to develop Norilsk ore in the middle of the 19th century. He even built a copper-smelting furnace out of brick, dismantling the local church and building a wooden one instead. Before the furnace burned out, the merchant managed to smelt several tons of blister copper and successfully sold 200 pounds (more than three tons) to the Yenisey mining department.
In 1915, geology student Alexander Sotnikov decided to take a look at the grandfather deposit. There he collected samples of rocks and coal and showed them to Nikolay Urvantsev who helped describe them.
In 1921 Urvantsev went to the North. The expedition purpose was to find pure copper. For the wintering of that geological expedition, Urvantsev built a log house, around which the city of Norilsk later arose.
The Dudinka seaport construction
Dudinka was founded in 1667 as a winter hut for collecting furs. Over time, a small northern village on the Yenisey became an important trading center, from where all communication with the tundra was carried out.
By the beginning of the 1930s, the importance of Dudinka increased many times over: the development of mineral deposits and the development of the Norilsk industrial region began near it. For this, constant communication with other regions of the region was necessary.
On December 10, 1930, Dudinka became the capital of the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) National District. Five years later, they begin to equip the sea and at the same time the river port. On June 23, 1935, the first builders of the Norilsk combine arrived here on the Spartak steamer, and on June 28 an order was issued to build the first berths in Dudinka.
Nowadays, the Dudinka seaport provides year-round navigation along the Northern Sea Route. This is the northernmost international seaport in our country.
After the start of the Great Patriotic War, the demand for nickel increased sharply. The combat successes of our soldiers depended on how quickly the production of nickel in Norilsk was set up. After the metallurgical plant construction was completed on April 29, 1942, the first nickel plates were unloaded from the baths of the electrolysis shop. And already on August 22, mass production of T-34 tanks began at the defense plants of the Urals. Their famous armor was invulnerable because of the nickel base.
A year later, the Medvezhiy Ruchey construction mine began, providing the combine with coal, thanks to which the nickel electrolysis shop was put into operation. By 1954, the working settlement of Norilsk received the city status.
Today, Norilsk is the world’s largest settlement beyond the Arctic circle with a permanent population of over 150 000 people. After Krasnoyarsk, it is the largest city in the region. The polar branch of the Nornickel mining and metallurgical company is the world’s largest producer of nickel and palladium.
The Talnah field development
The Talnah field was discovered in 1960. At that time, a giant exploration network was operating on the Putorana plateau – 100 drilling rigs. In July 1960, geologists finally discovered a yield of ore.
The hidden deposit turned out to be huge. Vladimir Dolgih was then the chief engineer of the Norilsk Mining and Metallurgical Combine. When he was informed about the new field, he immediately took up the issues of organizing production. Already in 1965, Mayak, the first Talnah mine, began its work.
Now the total length of workings at the Talnah field is 450 kilometers.
Putoransky reserve creation
The Putoransky reserve is located in the north of the Krasnoyarsk region beyond the Arctic Circle. This is an amazing natural attraction with rocky gorges, mountains with flat tops that look like giant tree stumps, bottomless lakes and waterfalls.
There is nowhere else in the world that there are so many long lakes located at a short distance from each other. Since August 2010, the territory of the reserve has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The Sulfur Program is the largest environmental project in Russia
The Sulfur Program that Nornickel is implementing in Norilsk will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 90 percent in five years. This is part of the company’s larger environmental strategy. In total, it includes about 300 environmental activities, which include scientific expeditions to study the biodiversity of Taimyr, research and permafrost monitoring.
In addition, the Yenisey Province. 200 Events in 200 Years book describes the legendary Alaska-Siberia highway during the Great Patriotic War, as well as the creation of the Hatanga seaport, thanks to which for more than half a century it has been possible to regularly deliver a lot of cargo from the mainland. The authors tell about the Museum of Permafrost in Igarka, the discovery of diamonds in the Popigai Crater, and the construction of the ski resort Bobrovy Log by Nornickel.
Other interesting facts about Taimyr and Norilsk can be found in our History Spot photo project.
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Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photos: Marina Peshkova, Nikolay Shchipko, Denis Kozhevnikov and editorial archive