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Russia's Norilsk Halts Port for Seasonal Flood
May 25,2010 17:20CST
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MOSCOW, May 25 -- Russian miner Norilsk Nickel said on Monday it had suspended shipments from its Arctic port of Dudinka ahead of an annual flooding of the port.

Norilsk press office said in a statement the breaking of ice followed by the flood is expected between May 30 and June 4. After this, two vessels will unload some cargoes in the open sea and go back after loading Norilsk cargoes.

The port, over 300 km (188 miles) inside the Arctic Circle, is expected to fully restore its activities by the end of June.

Every year, Norilsk stops loading nickel, copper and cobalt for export when ice breaks up at the mouth of the Yenisei River and floods Dudinka. The closure also disrupts supply of concentrate to Norilsk's refineries on the Kola peninsula.

Norilsk is the world's largest nickel miner and the biggest copper producer in Russia. About 4.5 million tonnes of goods, mostly metals from Norilsk, pass through Dudinka every year.

Every year before the flood, Norilsk moves the port's cranes several hundred metres from the water's edge to avoid chunks of ice tossed up by the rising river. The Yenisei is 5 km (3.1 miles) wide at Dudinka.

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