The Depressing Industrial City of Norilsk | Via
The city was founded in 1935, as a slave labor camp, and later as a settlement for those working in mining and metallurgic operation. Located at the foot of the 1,700-meter high Putoran Mountains, where occurs some of the largest nickel deposits on earth, Norilsk is a hotbed for mining and smelting industries. The city contains the world’s largest heavy metals smelting complex, producing more than 20 percent of the world’s nickel, 50 percent of its palladium, more than 10 percent of its cobalt, and 3 percent of its copper. Norilsk’s exports make up more than 2 percent of Russia’s GDP.
The average life expectancy of the workers is ten years shorter than the national average. Residents suffer from numerous respiratory diseases, and the incidents of cancer, blood and skin disorders is high. Only 4% of adults in the city are healthy.
it’s obvious that those who live and work in Norilsk do so for the money, but even those who voluntarily came here to make money are eager to escape. But leaving the city is not easy, especially for the older residents on pension, and with a family and apartment. Property prices are low in Norilsk, which means they cannot sell and leave the city, because even if they did, it’s impossible to buy anything with the money in other regions.
They live, work, spend and reproduce for the mining company. The town’s isolation means they pour their wages into company-owned shops and facilities. The money goes back to the company, and eventually people pass away.