On 18 February 2022, Murmansk region governor Andrey Chibis paid a working visit to NWPC’s Oleniy Ruchey mine site.
The visit started at the open pit, where the governor saw the equipment used for hauling rock mass and drilling holes to blast ore blocks. Deputy CEO for Open-pit Mining and Geology Yuri Sergeev outlined the production milestones. ‘In 11 years, we have extracted 37 million tonnes of ore and 102 million tonnes of rock mass. The open pit is now +180 metres deep at its lowest elevation point, and we plan to make it 60 metres deeper, reaching the ultimate level of +120 metres. The open pit’s depth within its closed contour is −135 metres’, Sergeev explained.
The governor’s delegation then visited the underground mine, where they were shown a new crushing chamber installed in the crushing and conveyor complex 20 metres underground. The guests learned about the underground equipment and conveyor transport system used to transport ore from lower levels to the processing plant.
At the grinding and flotation shop, Governor Chibis and NWPC CEO Yevgeny Sozinov discussed plans to commission a fourth grinder and a third flotation line. The delegation also learned about the main operations and the stages of apatite concentrate production.
In 2021, NWPC extracted 6.6 million tonnes of ore, up 1 million tonnes year-on-year. The Company also increased its apatite concentrate output to 1.25 million tonnes in 2021 and expects to raise that number to 1.3 million tonnes by late 2022.
The processing plant can potentially produce up to 1.8 million tonnes. Right now, we are extracting ore from both the open pit and the underground mine, but our plan is to shut down open-pit mining. With that in mind, we are actively developing our underground mine.
It was my first time at NWPC’s production site. I pleased to see how the Company was built from the ground up and is now growing, employing over 2,000 people, and using state-of-the-art technologies to produce high-quality apatite concentrate. It is essential that NWPC is still investing in the development of its open pit and underground mine. The Company is starting a new project this summer, and that means more investments. We fully support NWPC and its projects.
Murmansk region governor
Governor Chibis concluded his visit by attending the processing plant’s production control centre and participating in a panel discussion of NWPC’s investment projects that will be implemented with the support of the Murmansk regional government.
Sozinov emphasised NWPC’s focus on providing social support to its employees, including healthy meals, sports and recreation events, and trips to health resorts.
On 1 January 2022, the Company adjusted the salaries of its employees 11 %, the largest adjustment since 2012.
At the end of his visit, Governor Chibis thanked NWPC, its management, and all the employees at the open pit, the underground mine, and the processing plant. ‘Thank you for enduring challenging working conditions and ensuring our food security by supplying high-quality apatite concentrate for mineral fertiliser production. Your Company also contributes to Russia’s economic development by paying taxes and providing social support. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to all those who operate equipment aboveground and belowground and support the Company’s operations’.