Kola Peninsula (Kola MMC)


Kola MMC is currently developing Zhdanovskoye, Zapolyarnoye, Kotselvaara and Semiletka Fields. Severny Mine (including Kaula-Kotselvaara mine) produces disseminated sulphide ores containing nickel, copper and other commercial components. Severny Mine leverages various ore mining methods as follows:

  • Zhdanovskoye Field uses sublevel longwall caving with front ore passes, block caving (limited scope of application), and open-pit mining (at the open pit sections, for example, at Yuzhny Open Pit) methods.
  • At Zapolyarnoye Field, in 1H 2016, ores were extracted through chamber mining with deep-hole stoping from sublevel drifts and flowable and dry backfilling.
  • Kotselvaara and Semiletka Fields primarily use stoping from sublevel drifts and sublevel caving, as well as room-and-pillar short-hole and long-hole stoping (limited scope of application).

Kola MMC is the Company’s second largest production asset.

Kola MMC mining assets
Field / mine (section) Mine type Ores
Zhdanovskoye Field Copper-nickel sulphide ores
Severny open pit section Open pit Disseminated
Severny underground section Underground Disseminated
Zapolyarnoye Field Copper-nickel sulphide ores
Severny underground section Underground Disseminated
Kotselvaara and Semiletka Fields Copper-nickel sulphide ores
Kaula-Kotselvaara mine1 Underground Disseminated
1 In December 2013, Kaula-Kotselvaara Mine was merged with Severny Mine and incorporated therein as Kaula-Kotselvaara mine.
Ore output, mln t
Field 2014 2015 2016
Zhdanovskoye Field
Severny open pit section 476,833 558,418 459,707
Severny underground section 6,081,295 6,181,010 6,309,574
Zapolyarnoye Field
Severny underground section 695,101 489,308 138,967
Kotselvaara and Semiletka Fields
Kaula-Kotselvaara mine 787,935 733,490 707,270
Total 8,041,164 7,962,226 7,615,518

In 2016, Kola MMC’s total ore output amounted to 7.6 mln t, down 347 kt, or 4% y-o-y.

The comparison of actual ore outputs in 2016 and 2015 shows:

  • a 72% decline in Severny Mine’s output at Zapolyarnoye Field due to additional development of the Field’s balance ore reserves;
  • a 4% decline in Kaula-Kotselvaara mine’s output due to the five-day working week;
  • the decline in output at Zapolyarnoye Field and Kaula-Kotselvaara mine in line with the mining plan for 2016.
Ore production breakdown by metal content, %
Mines Ore output Metal content in ore
Nickel Copper PGM
Severny Mine 100 100 100 100
Severny open pit section 6.0 4.0 4.5 2.7
Severny underground section (Zhdanovskoye Field) 82.9 80.9 78.0 67.8
Severny underground section (Zapolyarnoye Field) 1.8 4.6 4.8 9.2
Kaula-Kotselvaara mine 9.3 10.5 12.7 20.3
Average metal content in ore
Metal 2014 2015 2016
Nickel, % 0.65 0.62 0.53
Copper, % 0.27 0.25 0.22
PGM, g/t 0.08 0.07 0.08


Concentration facilities:

  • Zapolyarny Concentrator

The Concentrator produces briquetted copper-nickel concentrate. Nkomati concentrate also undergoes briquetting. Briquettes are delivered to Smelting to produce converter matte.

In 2016, Kola MMC’s Concentrator processed 7.568 mln t of ore, down 282 kt y-o-y as a result of lower mining volumes.

In 2016, the rate of metals recovery in collective concentrate was below the 2015 level due to a higher content of hard-to-process finely disseminated and talcose ores in the ore mixture.

Metals recovery in concentration (ore to concentrate), %
Metal 2014 2015 2016
Nickel 72.4 72.7 69.0
Copper 75.2 76.0 73.6


The refining facilities of Kola MMC in Monchegorsk process converter matte from Smelting Shop and Polar Division, and copper cake from Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta.

Precious metals produced by Kola MMC are refined at Krasnoyarsk Gulidov Non-Ferrous Metals Plant under a tolling agreement.

In 2016, Kola MMC produced more metals as compared to 2015. The main driver behind this growth was the increased converter matte supply from Polar Division owing to reconfiguration of the production facilities.

Metals output
Metal 2014 2015 2016
Nickel, t 106,048 125,100 131,235
including the Company's Russian feedstock 100,834 123,335 126,937
Copper, t 57,392 63,075 70,272
including the Company's Russian feedstock 48,345 60,134 63,542
Palladium, koz 595 671 851
including the Company's Russian feedstock 517 640 815
Platinum, koz 127 134 173
including the Company's Russian feedstock 95 122 159

Smelting facilities:

  • Smelting Shop (Nickel)
  • Metallurgical Shop (Nickel)
  • Refining Shop (Monchegorsk)
  • Nickel Electrolysis Shop (Monchegorsk)
Metals recovery in refining, %
Metal 2014 2015 2016
Nickel 97.8 97.8 98.0
Copper 97.2 97.3 97.1
PGM 95.2 97.1 96.3