Environmental Policy

The basic principle of NWPC’s environmental safety policy is sustainable development supported by efficient use of natural resources. The goal of this policy is to save the environment for future generations. The Company conducts extensive work to identify key environmental impact sources and assess mitigation opportunities. 

 
    

Prior to construction of the Oleniy Ruchey mine, NWPC studied background environmental conditions at the site and evaluated a range of technical solutions for ensuring sustainable use of natural resources. Since 2010, NWPC has performed ongoing monitoring of air and of surface and groundwater under a monitoring programme approved by the Subsoil Resources Management Agency in Murmansk region for the Oleniy Ruchey deposit and its impact area. 

Each year, an independent contractor calculates morphometric indices for the Komarinoye Lake area to ensure compliance with the Company’s water use permit. NWPC observes all provisions of the Russian Federation Water Code regarding the use of the water protection area and protective coastline of Komarinoye Lake; the Company also monitors and maintains the good condition of the lake’s water protection area and implements other water protection and conservation measures.

In dry seasons, NWPC takes measures to reduce emissions, including watering down roads and mine dumps or using wet dust suppression during drilling. The Company regularly measures X-ray and gamma radiation at the open pit mine and dump sites.

Since 2012, the Company has been recultivating disturbed land along road and dike slopes by installing a “bio-geo” barrier developed by the Kola Mine Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In 2014, NWPC commissioned KOS-400 biological wastewater treatment facilities with discharge to Vuonnemyok Creek, at a total cost of RUB 60 million. The construction costs of the mine and open pit wastewater treatment facilities with discharge to Komarinoye Lake totalled RUB 640 million.

NWPC’s environmental protection department contracts with independent laboratories, such as the State Research Institute of Lake and River Fisheries (GosNIORKH), the Murmansk Region Centre of Hygiene and Epidemiology, the Kola Geological Information and Laboratory Centre (KGILC), to carry out environmental monitoring of air and water.

Over 2016, these independent laboratories and NWPC’s own laboratory carried out approximately 3,000 tests and analyses of air and water samples that showed no violations of contaminant concentration norms in the area of the mine, in the sanitary protection zone or in nearby Koashva settlement. Monitoring data obtained at control points in Vuonnemyok Creek and Komarinoye Lake showed no impact of treated water on fishing areas. In 2016, the Company spent approximately RUB 650,000 on analysis and studies of natural and waste water and RUB 7 million on its environmental monitoring programme.

NWPC makes quarterly environmental impact contributions to the regional budget. In 2016, payments for permissible emissions reached RUB 13.8 million. There have been no emergency discharges or spills.

In 2016, the Russian Federal Agency for Fisheries approved compensation measures to remedy the damage sustained by aquatic biological resources due to construction and operation of the mine. As a part of these long-term measures, 9,000 Atlantic salmon parr will be released into the Umba River (White Sea) in 2017.