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Nornickel reports another fuel spill in the Arctic

In late May, Nornickel also reported a fuel spill near Norilsk, in north-central Russia. (Image courtesy of Nornickel).

Russian mining company Norilsk Nickel reported that a pipeline belonging to Norilsktransgaz, which is part of the Norilsk Nickel Group, depressurized during the transfer of aviation fuel in the vicinity of ​​the village of Tukhard, located on the Gydanskii tundra.

In a media statement, the company said that the spill poses no threats to the health of people living in the area and that crews are already taking measures to recover the spilled fuel. Emergency services are also at the scene. 

According to Nornickel, the leak happened at about 11:15 am on Sunday, July 12, 2020. Preliminary data revealed that close to 44.5 tonnes of fuel were spilled during the depressurization, which lasted for about 15 minutes.

The miner said that Norilsktransgaz is conducting an internal investigation on the incident and has already submitted some information to Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry.

This is the second fuel spill that Nornickel reports in the Arctic in less than two months. The previous one took place in late May at Nornickel’s Heat and Power Plant № 3 near Norilsk, in north-central Russia. The accident happened when the plant’s reservoir cracked and released 20,000 tonnes of diesel into the nearby areas, contaminating land and rivers that drain into a lake linked to the Kara Sea.

Russia’s environmental watchdog demanded over $2 billion in damages for the May spill, while the company had said that clean-up costs would add up to $150 million.