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World’s Largest Nickel Company Admits It Turned Russian River Blood Red

September 13, 2016

Russian Billionaires And President Vladimir Putin At Russia Business ConferenceRussian Billionaires And President Vladimir Putin At Russia Business Conference
Vladimir Potanin, Russian billionaire and owner of OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, attends a meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) during Russia Business Week in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, March 19, 2015. Photograph by Andrey Rudakov — Bloomberg via Getty Images

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The world’s largest nickel manufacturer, Norilsk Nickel, said it was responsible for turning a river in the Siberian town of Norilsk into a lurid shade of red last week.

On Sept. 7, Russia’s environment ministry suggested a pipe leakage from a factory owned by Norilsk Nickel may have resulted in the discoloration of the Daldykan river in the Russian Arctic.

The company initially denied that the pollutants originated from one of its plants.

According to the BBC, the company said that a filtration dam was compromised on Sept. 5 after heavy rains caused it to overflow into the river.


Although the company denies any danger to people or wildlife, Greenpeace Russia activist Alexei Kiselyov told Agence France-Presse that it was too early to assess the impact. “You can’t just say that it’s no big deal,” he said.

Kiselyov accused Norilsk Nickel of hindering investigations by controlling access to the affected areas, making it difficult to inspect pollutants originating from their factories.