Norilsk Nickel launches the largest project in its history

That's Bystrinsky mining and processing plant worth $1.5 billion.
"Norilsk Nickel" is launching its largest project in recent years - Bystrinsky GOK in the Trans-Baikal Territory. Today, start-up operations began here, the company said.

Bystrinsky combine will extract and enrich gold-iron-copper ores and produce copper, gold-bearing and magnetite concentrates. "Today, the factory will be able to take the first ton of ore. After the construction works and after the commissioning work was done idly, when every stage of the process chain was tested without load, a very important moment for every large industrial enterprise comes in: commissioning under load, the first ore is supplied, "explains Sergei Dyachenko, first vice-president of Norilsk Nickel .

First, the factory will work for 20% of the load, he said, then - by 50%. By 2020, the load will be 100%. After reaching the designed capacity of 10 million tons of ore per year, Bystrinsky GOK will be the third asset of Norilsk Nickel along with the main enterprises located in Taimyr and the Kola Peninsula.

Bystrinsky GOK will produce 67,000 tons of copper, 2.9 million tons of magnetite concentrate and 252,000 ounces of gold. This will allow Norilsk Nickel to increase the share of copper production. For nine months the company produced 290,874 tons of copper.

The total cost of the Bystrin project, according to Dyachenko, was $ 1.5 billion, including investment in the construction of the railway. "Norilsk Nickel" invested in the construction of the railway line 7 billion rubles.

By the launch of the Bystrinsky GOK a power transmission line with a capacity of 250 MVa, a length of 234 km, was built. The construction of the transmission line lasted in 2015. To implement the project, Norilsk Nickel created a design company - BESK. The contractor of the project was a wholly owned subsidiary of FGC UES - CIUS EEC. The cost of the line - 220 kV OHL Kharanorskaya GRES - Bystrinskaya with 220 kV Bystrinskaya substation - is estimated at about 8.4 billion rubles. "FGC UES" will buy from BESC the constructed facilities until 2021.

"We are proud to have managed in just four years to build from scratch a plant that is comparable in scale with the construction of the period of industrialization," the words of Vladimir Potanin, president of the company, are quoted in the message of Norilsk Nickel.

Now Norilsk Nickel owns 50.07% of Bystrinsky GOK. Last year, the company sold 13.33% of the project for $ 100 million to the Chinese consortium Highland Fund, among which the private Chinese fund Hopu Investment. And last week the structure of Potanin and the owner of the ESN group Grigory Berezkin - CIS NRF Holdings - completed the purchase of 36.6% stake in the Bystrinsky project from Norilsk Nickel for $ 275 million.

Potanin said that in the future Bystrinsky GOK can be combined with the Baim copper area (located in Chukotka). This project belongs to co-owners Evraz and minority shareholders of Norilsk Nickel Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov. "Norilsk Nickel" "very carefully" looks at the Baimskoye field and is waiting for the results of due diligence before the end of 2017, reports "Interfax" the words of Dyachenko.