Nickel mine blamed as Russian river turns blood red
Officials say breakdown at Norilsk Nickel facilities may be to blame
A small river in the northern part of Siberia has turned blood red, raising the eyebrows of the local citizens and infuriating environment activists.
Residents of Norilsk started reporting that the Daldykan River outside the city changed its colour on Tuesday.
Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said in a statement that an investigation was underway, adding that a possible cause of the disaster was a breakdown at the facilities of the Norilsk Nickel company. Norilsk Nickel representatives denied the information about the breakdown, the statement added.
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Greenpeace Russia provided pictures from the site, showing river banks covered in crimson slime.
Head of the organization's energy program, Vladimir Chuprov, said Norilsk Nickel bears responsibility for the disaster. "In fact, the river and the people who live there are under control of this monopoly," he said, adding that pollution seriously undermines natural resources of the region.
"This is what is lost from the local population ecosystem and the country's economy: first of all it is fish resources; second, it is drinking water, that is no longer good to drink, if we talk about the people who live there," he added.
Norilsk Nickel is controlled by Russian tycoon Vladimir Potanin and aluminum producer Rusal is the world's second-largest nickel producer after Brazilian miner Vale SA. The company is also the world's largest palladium producer.