Kola Division (Russia)

Kola MMC is Nornickel’s wholly owned subsidiary and a valuable production asset located in the Kola Peninsula in the Murmansk Region of Russia.


Kola MMC mines disseminated copper-nickel sulphide ores.

At Kola MMC, various ore mining methods are used:

  • The Zhdanovskoye and Zapolyarnoye deposits use three mining methods: gravity caving with front ore passes, sublevel caving with room-and-pillar ore removal, and room-and-pillar mining. To ensure full utilisation of the concentrator’s design capacity, off-balance (sub-economic) open-pit mining waste is processed as well
  • The Kotselvaara and Semiletka deposits primarily use stoping from sublevel drifts and sublevel caving. Room-and-pillar short-hole and long-hole stoping are also used on a limited scale

In 2020, Kola MMC produced about 7.7 mln tof ore (down 3% y-o-y), with the marginal decrease attributable to dwindling surplus ore inventories that had built up at the end of 2019 due to scheduled maintenance at the concentrator.

Ore output (mln t)
Mining asset Mine type 2018 2019 2020
Total ore 7.90 7.91 7.65
Zhdanovskoye deposit: 7.14 7.25 7.08
Severny Mine Underground 6.56 6.49 6.43
Severny Mine Open-pit 0.58 0.77 0.65
Zapolyarnoye deposit: 0.08 0.06 0.05
Severny underground section Underground 0.08 0.06 0.05
Kotselvaara and Semiletka deposits: 0.68 0.60 0.52
Kaula-Kotselvaara mine Underground 0.68 0.60 0.52


The concentrator produces briquetted copper-nickel concentrate. Briquettes are delivered to a smelting shop in Nikel to produce converter matte.

In 2020, Kola MMC’s concentrator processed 7.96 mln t of ore (up 5%).

The rate of metals recovery in bulk concentrate decreased, due to a higher share of complex morphology ores with disseminated sulphide minerals in the charge.

Ore processing
Concentrator 2018 2019 2020
Ore processing by the concentrator, mln t 7.90 7.60 7.96


Nornickel has continued to ramp up Tankhouse 2 to design capacity for the production of nickel cathode using the technology of electrowinning from chlorine dissolved tube furnace nickel powder.

In 2020, Kola MMC used only Nornickel’s own Russian feedstock in metals production. Growth in saleable nickel output was mostly driven by the start-up of saleable nickel loading point at the concentrator. Saleable copper output decreased due to changes in the output mix of saleable products and the redistribution of copper semi-products within the Company. Lower PGM output in 2020 was caused by temporary shipments of chlorine leaching residuals to the Polar Division (during the deployment of a new precious metal production technology at Kola MMC) and larger amount of transportation and production work-in-progress along the Kola MMC – Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta – the Polar Division leg due to shipments of converter matte with a higher PGM content to Norilsk Nickel Harjavalta.

Production volumes
Product 2018 2019 2020
Nickel, t 158,005 166,265 172,357
from own Russian feed 157,519 166,265 172,357
Copper, t 83,070 86,976 70,618
from own Russian feed 82,987 86,976 70,618
Palladium, koz 1,684 1,826 1,630
from own Russian feed 1,684 1,826 1,630
Platinum, koz 381 439 390
from own Russian feed 381 439 390