VostokCoal - Dikson coal mine
|This article is part of the Global Energy Monitor coverage of Russia and coal|
VostokCoal - Diskon coal mine is a proposed open pit coal mine in Taimyr coal basin, to be operated by VostokCoal, producing 30 million tonnes per annum, near Dikson, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia.
Although listed as a "proposed" operation, the company has been accused of illegal mining (without proper permits) after reports indicated the company mined and stockpiled at least 70,000 tonnes on-site and exported 180,000 tonnes in 2017.
Coal Mine Background
The project belongs to VostokСoal-Dikson and the Far East investment and export Agency. VostokCoal-Dikson was formerly known as Arctic Mining Company-Dikson, under control of Management Company Vostokcoal.
Annual production targets were originally set to 30 million tons
In August 2019 VostokCoal-Dikson and the Far East investment and export Agency (ANO FEIA) agreed to collaborate in the implementation of VostokCoal-Dikson project. ANO FEIA will try to assist the project in obtaining the state support necessary for its successful implementation, including legislative initiatives necessary for the development of the project. ANO FEIA will try to assist the company in effective cooperation with other institutions of Federal and Regional authorities, as well as in negotiations with potential investors and partners.
In 2017, the company was sued after inspectors from the state nature protection agency, Rosprirodnadzor, visited the production area and discovered grave environmental violations. The inspectors said that the company has inflicted serious damage to local environment and did not have the permissions needed. They found that there was about 70,000 tons of extracted coal stored on site. In addition, more than 180,000 tons were exported in a complex logistical operation in winter of 2017.
The company denies any wrongdoing. Following the inspection, the company tried to sue the representatives of the environmental agency for illegal entry to the production area, newspaper Kommersant reported. The court rejected the case.
The mining in the remote Taymyr Peninsula has also attracted the attention of the Federal Security Service (FSB). In April 2019, the security service joined the environmental protection agency and filed a suit against the Arctic coal miners. According to the FSB, the company not only engaged in illegal mining but also unlawfully exported the coal, newspaper RBC reported. The state nature protection agency originally demanded 2 billion rubles in fines for the coal miners. In June 2019, the Moscow arbitrary court ultimately ruled that the company must pay 600 million rubles. The mining company immediately announced that it would appeal the verdict.
The northwestern parts of the Taymyr Peninsula are covered by vulnerable tundra land and the mine faces local and environmental opposition.
To export coal, the company would build its own coal terminal and create an ice-class fleet. Shipments of coal are planned to be conducted year-round, with support of "Atomflot" icebreakers during the winter navigation.All of its is to be exported through the Northern Sea Route, the Russian Arctic seaway that is connected with both Asia and Europe.
The ports at Chaika and the Severny, both to be located slightly south of Dikson are anticipated to have an accumulated capacity to handle up to 20 million tons per year.
But the problem for Vostok Coal is that the terminals are located within areas strictly regulated by environmental legislation.
The Ministry of Natural Resources cast doubt on whether the export terminals would export as much coal as the company says. Dmitry Bosov, one of the heads of VostokCoal, made headlines in November 2018 with a commitment to ship out 30 million tonnes of anthracite coal per year from the Arctic’s Taymyr Peninsula. But the Natural Resources Ministry laid the odds of Bosov fulfilling that goal at only about 1 in 5.
The federal Ministry of Natural Resources long rejected the company’s construction plans in the area because they were located too close to the borders of the Big Arctic National Park. The projected seaports are located only few hundred meters from the protected Bay of Meduza, a local part of the large Big Arctic National Park, one of Russia’s biggest protected areas.
In a report from 2016, the Ministry found it finds it impossible to approve the project. In the area is also located the international Willem Barentsz Biological Station, because of the important and sensitive ecosystems in the area. "We are not against the development of Dikson, but we and our federal managers consider that the development of the town [Dikson] must not be conducted in violation of the federal laws and regulations and with damage of protected nature territories," the statement from researchers at the ministry reads.
Dmitry Bosov and his Vostok Coal is ready to significantly change the vulnerable tundra land of the Taymyr. By 2024, the powerful businessman intends to have a fleet of ships shuttling to and from the icy ports on the coast of the peninsula.
- Parent Company: VostokCoal-Dikson and the Far East investment and export Agency
- Location: 18 km south of Dikson, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia
- GPS Coordinates:73.332075, 80.536037 (approximate) 
- Status: Proposed (local reports indicate illegal mine operations may have begun)
- Production Capacity: 30 mtpa
- Total Resource: 225 billion tonnes
- Mineable Reserves:
- Coal type: Anthracite
- Mine Size:
- Mine Type: Opencast
- Start Year: 2017 (illegally)
- Source of Financing:
Articles and resources
- VostokCoal, "The Arctic Corridor presentation," VostokCoal, 27 March 2017.
- Atle Staalesen, "Big blow to Arctic environment as Russian coal company advances into protected tundra" Barents Observer, 6 August 2019.
- Rinkesh @ThinkDevGrow, "The Ambitious Open-Cast Coal Mining Project in Taymyr Could Cost Russia Heavily in Terms of Pollution" Paper Blog website, 3 December 2019.
- Inter Act, "Willem Barentsz Biological Station" Inter Act website, accessed 3 February 2020.
- VostokCoal, "«VostokCoal-Dikson» and the «Far East investment and export agency» signed a cooperation agreement" VostokCoal website, 15 August 2019.
- Hellenic Shipping News, "Russian Ministers try nervously to fulfill Putin’s Arctic shipping goals" Hellenic Shipping News website, 24 January 2019.