On 1 February 2021, the Russian Government approved a list of major Arctic investment projects to receive government support. Four out of the six projects will be based in the Murmansk Region.
The largest of them is the construction of a mining and metallurgical facility. It will consist of two open pits and a concentrator to produce copper-nickel concentrate or matte containing platinum group metals. The asset, which is expected to see the start of construction in 2021 and be put into operation in 2027, will produce 16 million tonnes of ore annually.
Today, the world’s largest deposit of palladium is developed on Russia’s Taimyr Peninsula, which accounts for up to 40% of all palladium mined globally. With the development of Fedorova Tundra on the Kola Peninsula, which is comparable in size to the Taimyr deposit, Russia will be able to produce more palladium than all other countries combined. The Fedorova Tundra reserves exceed 400 tonnes of platinum group metals, primarily palladium, platinum and rhodium. According to Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Yury Trutnev, investments in this mining and metallurgical facility will amount to RUB 82 bn.
The second project will help Murmansk-based fisheries to overcome dependence on juvenile fish imports. It envisages the construction of a fish farm near Retinskoye on the Kola Bay coast to produce up to 7 million of smolts (young salmon and trout) a year. Currently, Russia’s Polar fish producers import all smolts from abroad. Half of them, however, come from Norwegian farms owned by a Russian company, says its CEO Ilya Sosnov. According to him, these capacities are also slated for expansion.
Another project involves the construction of the Tuloma Marine Terminal for bulk cargoes, with an annual handling capacity of 6 million tonnes of mineral fertilisers and apatite concentrate.
The fourth project is an upgrade of the Vitino Sea Port and the Belomorskaya Oil Tank Farm in the Kandalaksha District of the Murmansk Region. The investor intends to add a new port terminal to increase Vitino’s crude oil throughput capacity to at least 4 million tonnes a year.