On 29 July, President Vladimir Putin personally via videoconference gave the go-ahead to a blast in the Oleniy Ruchey open pit.
During his visit to Veliky Novgorod’s Acron, as part of a presentation of Acron Group’s long-term investment programme, Vladimir Putin learnt about the progress at NWPC (a member of Acron Group), which completed the first stage of the Oleniy Ruchey mine and reached the design capacity of 100,000 tpm of apatite concentrate sufficient to cover the needs of Acron Group’s chemical facilities for phosphates used in complex fertiliser production.
To mark reaching of the design capacity, the President gave a command to make a blast in the open pit, which was broadcast live. The head of state congratulated NWPC personnel on the successful implementation of the project and wished further progress for the company.
The Oleniy Ruchey project is unique because it is the first mine built in Russia for fertiliser production since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The project is implemented in two stages. The first stage, an open-pit mine, is operating at full capacity. The second stage, an underground mine, is constructed in parallel and will increase the mine’s capacity to 2 mtpa. The underground extraction will start in the beginning of 2017. By 2023, the aggregate capacity will reach 6 mtpa of ore. The Oleniy Ruchey mine has resources for over 50 years of operation. Investments in the project will exceed USD 1 billion excluding VAT, of which USD 900 million have been spent. Another USD 250 million will be injected by 2026.
The Oleniy Ruchey project has already created many jobs in the region. Currently, the mine employs 1,700 people, and over 2,000 people were engaged in at the construction stage.
In 2015 alone, over RUB 1,160 million were paid as taxes to budgets of different levels, including more than RUB 817 million to the federal budget, more than RUB 210 million to the regional budget, and more than RUB 137 million to local budgets. NWPC is actively involved in social and economic development of Kirovsk and Apatity, places orders with local companies, allocates funds for welfare programmes (in total, the amount equivalent to USD 16 million was paid to the city budgets in 2007-2015).
The project was named a strategic investment project for the Murmansk region.