In 2021, Nornickel became the first company to launch a free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) process in the Russian Arctic. The Company has held three rounds of consultations with Tukhard residents. During the third round in March 2022, Nornickel and the Council of Representatives elected by Tukhard residents in the second round signed an FPIC agreement with respect to the relocation and development programme.
The agreement sets out the Company’s material obligations towards the residents. It provides for monitoring and assessment of the relocation programme and participation of the Council of Representatives at all stages of the implementation. In the third round, the residents voted on the location for the construction of a new Tukhard and voiced their preferences on the future settlement’s infrastructure. These preferences were reflected in the statement of work for drafting a master plan coordinated by the Norilsk Development Agency. The Agency has a successful background in designing the concept of Norilsk’s spatial urban development.
“Drafting a master plan for an area means hard work of many people. We travelled this path four years ago in Norilsk. This involved joined forces and close cooperation of the Agency’s specialists and relevant departments of the Norilsk administration, Nornickel’s Polar Division, local experts, and, most importantly, social-minded individuals. It is Tukhard residents who are now encouraged to come up with their initiatives and actively contribute to the creation of a new settlement that will meet their needs and be as comfortable as possible. The locals are extremely hospitable to us and very responsive to our proposals,” said Maxim Mironov, Director of the Norilsk Development Agency.
The master plan will be developed by architects from Wowhaus bureau which boasts over 100 projects implemented across Russia and a vast experience of dealing with projects in extreme climatic conditions. The architects have undertaken extensive preliminary work to analyse and research the area. In late January 2023, the bureau has conducted a number of surveys, including focus groups and in-depth interviews with the residents, to gather additional information on living in Tukhard, as well as update the local community’s requests and preferences with regard to the new settlement.
“Before we start the construction, we have to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the way the locals live now and the way they are going to live after the project is over. We expect a dramatic improvement in the living conditions thanks to the better quality of buildings and infrastructure. We want the people to be eager to move to their new homes,” commented Igor Yamkin, Head of the Tukhard Council of Representatives.
The settlement currently has a population of some 1,000, including reindeer herders. There is a small school. Children attend it from the first to the fourth class before going to Dudinka to complete their secondary education. The settlement has no property management company.
In drafting the master plan, architects have to take into account a lot of factors, including the soil condition on the site, wind loads, formation of thermokarst lakes, and more. According to the consultations meeting minutes, the following standards will apply to the total area of housing provided to the relocating residents:
— at least 33 sq m for people living alone;
— at least 42 sq m for families of two people;
— at least 18 sq m per person for families of three or more people.
“When drafting the master plan for a new Tukhard, we realise that some of its residents keep living a nomadic life, while the other members of the same families have settled down and found modern jobs in the settlement. That said, both of them stick to their age-long way of life dictated by the severe local climate. This is a great challenge for us. On the one hand, we need to design the infrastructure and create comfortable conditions for life and work — schools and kindergartens for children, healthcare facilities, and a community centre for people to socialise and discuss local issues. On the other hand, we want to help the local indigenous people who work and enjoy the modern blessings like stores and services to preserve their culture and traditions. We are committed to creating a settlement with homes, a school, a community centre and infrastructure that would meet the needs of people who stick to either way of life, while also being in tune with the traditions and lifestyle they want to preserve,” said Oleg Shapiro, co-founder of Wowhaus.
The final presentation of the master plan is scheduled for June 2023. The construction of the new settlement is to be completed in 2026.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
MMC Norilsk Nickel is a diversified mining and metallurgical company, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper. The company also produces cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold, iridium, ruthenium, selenium, tellurium and other products.
The production units of Norilsk Nickel Group are located at the Norilsk Industrial District, on the Kola Peninsula and Zabaykalsky Krai in Russia as well as in Finland.
MMC Norilsk Nickel shares are listed on the Moscow and on the Saint-Petersburg Stock Exchanges, ADRs are accepted for trading on the Saint-Petersburg Stock Exchange.
Norilsk Nickel fully supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The company considers social responsibility and commitment to the principles of sustainable development as one of the pillars of operational efficiency and business development. Nornickel seeks to continuously improve its activities in the areas of environmental protection, human rights, health and safety, environmental impact assessment, and biodiversity preservation. The company spent RUB 221.5 billion on SDG-linked projects in 2021.