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ArticleName Research and production – 85 years of successful technology development
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2023.06.04
ArticleAuthor Lyubeznykh V. A., Lesnikova L. S., Datsiev M. S.

Polar Division of Norilsk Nickel, Norilsk, Russia:

V. A. Lyubeznykh, Deputy Director – Chief Engineer
L. S. Lesnikova, Director of the Centre for Engineering Support of Production, Candidate of Technical Sciences, e-mail:
M. S. Datsiev, Director of Research & Engineering Department


The history of research and development activity on Norilsk soil dates back to June 18, 1938, when the first converter matte ingot was cast from a pilot heat at the Pilot Metallurgical Facility. The unique mineral deposits of the Norilsk industrial area and the harsh conditions of the Arctic Circle brought closer together miners, concentrators and metallurgists and together they engaged in the development of innovative technology that laid the basis for the Norilsk Works. For decades, the Centre for Engineering Support of Production (CESP) — formerly, R&D Centre for Mining and Metallurgy, founded as the result of a merger of the Pilot Metallurgical Facility and Laboratory for Research & Development of Beneficiation Processes – has been engaged in the development and optimization of mineral concentration facilities, have supported project and commissioning work, carried out operational and predictive research studies simulating actual production processes, tested new and alternative reagents and materials. The laboratory facilities of the Centre are situated directly at the production sites of Norilsk Nickel’s Polar Division. Thanks to this, real products can be used for research purposes, the process parameters can be monitored on a daily basis, and bottlenecks and further optimization routes can be defined. CESP comprises an in-house laboratory for material and chemical analysis, which enables to obtain a full range of information about the material composition of products of lab studies and those sampled at actual production and processing facilities. This helps to efficiently work out measures and solutions that could contribute to the quality of final products, as well as to the overall performance of mining and concentration operations. The CESP experts were directly involved in the implementation of large-scale revamping projects at the Company’s Polar Division and carried out a comprehensive reconfiguration of the Norilsk Division’s concentration and metallurgy complex.

keywords Pilot Metallurgical Facility, converter matte, metallurgy, beneficiation, concentrator plant, metallurgical plant, low-nickel pyrrhotite, pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, electrolysis, Norilsk industrial area

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