This is the most polluted place in Russia – where the snow is black, the air tastes of sulphur and the life expectancy for factory workers is 10 years below the Russian average. And it is Norilsk, an industrial city located in Krasnoyarsk Krai of Russia.
Norilsk is the world’s biggest nickel and palladium producer, having overtaken Inco several years back. Since data first emerged from the ex-Soviet Union in the early nineties, it has established itself as one of the world’s single biggest ambient air polluters – if not the biggest. Indeed, despite early technological assistance from outside Russia (notably from Finaland’s Outokumpu Oy), its contribution to the country’s sulphur dioxide burden has increased in relative terms.
Meanwhile Norilsk has put in a bid for the virtually bankrupt Stillwater Mining company – the USA’s biggest platinum and palladium group metals producer whose largest single shareholder, with 8.9%, is another British institution – Barclays Capital Corp. According to Mineweb (April 17th 2003) Barclay’s is also “Norilsk’s friendly institution”. Obviously murkiness isn’t confined just to the air in Kola.
I hope that things get better!