Russian Nornickel and Rosatom companies have increased the authorised capital of their joint venture, Polar Lithium, to RUB 2.6 billion ($29,4 million). Apart from mining, the purpose is to develop the action plan to support the indigenous and reindeer herding peoples living in the region.
Polar Lithium, the owner of the licence to develop the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit in the Murmansk region – one of the Russian Arctic regions, plans to reach full production capacity by 2030.
Nornickel adheres to a strategy of sustainable growth with mandatory consideration of the interests of local communities and environmental risks. Since June 2022, the company has been consulting with representatives of the Sami people, local communities, public organizations and reindeer herding farms in connection with the prospects for the development of the Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit.
Taking into account the experience gained from the Taimyr Indigenous Peoples Support and Development Program, based on the company's policy on the rights of indigenous peoples, Nornickel will continue consultations on an ethnological survey. The survey seeks to identify project-affected people and help prepare a detailed ethnological map. The company also plans to propose the application of the Free Prior Informed Consent procedure to the indigenous peoples of the Murmansk Region for the project’s development.
The Kolmozerskoye lithium deposit is the largest in Russia. It contains almost 19% of the country's total lithium reserves, namely, 75 million tonnes of lithium ore. This metal is required for the manufacture of high-capacity batteries used, for example, in electric cars.