Russian company, Norilsk Nickel, after much speculation, has admitted that they are the reason as to why a river near their factory has turned a deep shade of red.
Red River Flows in Daldykan
A week ago, news articles started to flood Russian media. These pictures showed that the Daldykan river close to the Norilsk Nickel factory had turned red.
Norilsk Nickel is the largest producer of nickel and palladium in the world. While they have factories throughout Russia, the one that is of concern here can be found by the Daldykan river. It is known as Nadezhda.
When the news first started circling around about the pollution in the river, the group issued a statement which stated that it did not believe that any pollution had entered the river due to their actions.
On 8th September 2016, investigators began to consider what may have caused the river to turn this color. The company, operated by billionaire Vladimir Potanin, was the prime suspect.
On the same day, Norilsk Nickel issued a press statement which included pictures of the river. They stated that the river was in prime condition and that there was no red in sight. However, they also claimed that they would step up patrols around the area to ensure that pollution continues to be kept to the minimum.
Company Admits Responsibility
On 12th September 2016, the company issued a statement to Russian media where they fully accepted that the issue was caused by them and that they work to resolve it. The issue was blamed on increased rainfall in the area.
In 2015-2016 the Company modernized tailings dam and tailings pipeline of hydrometallurgical shop of Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant (NMP). In the beginning of September fitting and assembling of the last section of pipeline was at the final stage. Before a pipe tie-in the standard work procedure requires to drain the whole pipeline with discharge of wash water into tailings dam. Cut-off dikes are in tie-in areas to prevent spreading of residual wash water. On the 5th of September after abnormal heavy rain (the area received approximately 50 percent of monthly average precipitation in rainfall in the course of 24 hours) the overflow of one of the dikes occurred, and water entered Daldykan river.
Environmental analysts indicate that the river is unlikely to suffer from any long-term impact as this is just minor discoloration. The problem has been caused by iron salts. They will not harm the fauna in the river in any way. This means populations of both animals and plants in the river will continue to thrive. Humans who come into contact with the water, which is very unlikely, will not suffer any ill effects.
The company pledges that it will work hard to ensure that further issues do not happen in the future. They will also work even harder to clear up the areas which seem to have been hit the hardest by historical pollution.