The limestone from the new quarry is not just raw material for the production of mortar and cement in the plants of Norilsk’s industrial zone: it can also be used to neutralize sulphuric acid that Norilsk Nickel intends to produce from the sulphur dioxide released during metals production, and in this way the company can reduce harmful emissions and achieve its ecological objectives.

Photo – the Skalny quarry in the town of Talnakh, the nearest transport link to the Mokulaevsky quarry (source:).

The aim of the feasibility assessment was to select the optimum transport scheme for delivering limestone to customers. The transport infrastructure in the area of the new quarry is primitive. Transport using conveyors usually helps to reduce costs, but would such a solution work in winter temperatures as low as -50Oc with the conveyor stretching for tens of kilometres over permafrost?

We examined a number of different transport schemes:

– A new conveyor line and slurry pipeline from the quarry to the customers
– A water-based transport system using part of the existing slurry pipeline
– Delivery of the limestone by rail, and other transport combinations

On the one hand was the necessity to make maximum use of the existing infrastructure, while on the other was the need to evaluate the benefits that a new, seamless transport system could deliver.

We assessed the capital and operating expenses, and weighed up the options.

This work led to an unexpected result – in the event, the option selected was one that had been favoured by the client from the start. But it was only after the technical evaluation, cost estimates and calculation of the total cost of ownership that we could be collectively convinced that our gut feelings and hypotheses were correct.

It was noted in the feedback from the client: “Morstroytechnology’s qualifications enables solutions to be found to complex logistical challenges in arctic conditions.”

Further information on the work involved and the feedback from it can be found in the projects response section.