The Pavlovsky deposit at Novaya Zemlya. Photo:

Ore from Novaya Zemlya mine finds buyer

The world’s northernmost mining project takes a step closer development.
February 16, 2017


Preliminary agreements with a possible buyer of the mining production have been made, company director Igor Semyonov confirms. The Pavlovsky project is owned by First Mining Company, a part of the ARMZ Uranium Holding, which again is owned by state nuclear energy company Rosatom.

According to Semyonov, the agreements cover the whole mining production. It is not clear which companies are involved, but speculations have previously hinted that Chinese buyers are interested.

«This means that we have an understanding of the approximate value of our annual output and can estimate key parameters for project efficiency», he says in a press release published by Rosatom.

It will be the northernmost mining project in the world, located on the 72nd parallel. 

The Pavlovsky deposit is located on the southern part of Novaya Zemlya and holds an estimated 47,7 million tons of ore. The capacity of the projected processing plant is 220,000 tons of zink, 50,000 tons of lead and 16 tons of silver, the company informs. A settlement with housing for 500 miners working on a rotational regime is to be built on site. Production launch is due to start in year 2021.

In the summer of 2016, more than 70 people and 20 pieces of machinery were on site to complete the first phase of field surveys. A second phase is to due be conducted this summer, the company says.


The Pavlovsky deposit includes a 12 square km area located about 16 km from the coast. The projected port will allow vessels with a deadweight of up 8000 ton to dock.

Novaya Zemlya is closed military area strictly controlled by the Russian Armed Forces.

Between 1973 and 1975, the southern island of Novaya Zemlya was used for larger underground nuclear tests. Of the seven detonations that took place in the area, several ventilated radioactive gases to the atmosphere because the explosions were not deep enough in the ground.

From 1976 to 1990, all underground nuclear tests took place at the northern test-range in the Matochin Straight. Since 1990, only so-called sub-critical nuclear tests have been conducted at Novaya Zemlya. 



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