HOTTER ON METALS: Mining’s bad reputation

The mining industry does a huge amount of good for local communities, to say nothing of its essential contribution to society through the materials it produces. Unfortunately, it all too often manages to give itself a bad name, worsening negative perceptions of the sector through accidents, spills and a failure to act as a steward of the environments in which it operates.

In the past month alone, there have been at least three major incidents that have given not just stakeholders but also the broader global community anything but the impression that mining is a force for good.
Responsible for two of those events is Russian nickel, copper and platinum group metals producer Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel).
The most recent occasion was on Sunday, when the company announced it had launched an internal investigation after clarified industrial water overflowed from a sump at the Talnakh processing plant and was pumped to an adjacent site.
According to the company, this decision “constituted a gross violation of the factory’s operational protocols,” and has led to the suspension of the responsible personnel. Russia’s ecology watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, and the Ministry of Emergency Situations have been brought in to monitor the situation and assess whether any damage has occurred.

The concentrator processes ore from the Oktyabrskoye...

Published

Andrea Hotter

June 29, 2020

20:40 GMT

New York