The Module 3, Eurasian Sulphides, Tour Group at Noril'sk and Talnakh, northern Siberia, Russia. Photographs by Mike Porter
Following conclusion of Module 2B in Canada, the through-going group had reservations out of Montreal on the evening of Saturday 17 June, to arrive in London, UK, next morning, with a rest day there before flying on to Moscow on the morning of Monday 19, arriving that afternoon, where we were to meet the new starters for Module 3, before travelling on to Noril'sk.
However, on Saturday as we checked in at Montreal, a catastrophic loss of power at Heathrow airport resulted in the cancellation of all flights in and out, including ours. We managed to negotiate an alternative flight to Brussels on another airline and an onward connection to London next morning, arriving during the free contingency day in London. If we had waited for a rescheduled flight direct to London from Montreal, we would have not made our Moscow connection. However, despite arriving within our contingency buffer, half of the groups bags did not. These contained our cold weather field clothing and boots, packed away after finishing the Raglan visit, ready we thought for unpacking again in northern Siberia. Undaunted we purchased warm clothing at the boutique shops of Heathrow (at great expense) and departed on schedule for Moscow, where we met the new starters.
In the early hours (01:30 am) of Tuesday 20 June, the group departed Moscow on schedule for Noril'sk, arriving at 09:25 am. Later that same day, the technical visit commenced with a tour of the Bear Creek Pit (bottom right) at Noril'sk to study the disseminated ore within the Noril'sk sill. This was followed in the late afternoon by an introductory presentation on the geology and mineralisation at the Talnakh deposit we were to visit next day.
Next morning started early with a 35 km drive north to Talnakh, where we were given a geological briefing and an underground visit to study the massive sulphide ores and country rock of the Taimyrsky Mine. The upper right image shows the row of headframes that service the Taimyrsky and neighbouring Oktyabr'sky mines. The lower left image shows members of the group ready to go underground.
During the afternoon, the group was hosted by the Taimyr Regional Expedition, where we had the opportunity to study drill core through the deposit, including a long composite hole through the entire enclosing sequence, sill and orebodies (upper left). This was preceded by a detailed explanation of the regional to local scale geology of the region and deposits. Later we were taken into the field and shown some exposures and structures pertinent to the deposit, before finishing after 8:00 pm. In the land of the midnight sun, the field days are long.
Next morning, on Thursday 22 June, the group departed Noril'sk for Moscow arriving later the same morning. When we arrived our baggage had still not caught up, but did later that night, before we were to depart for Beijing on the afternoon of the following day.