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Nickel Smelters, Norilsk, Siberia, Russia
Norilsk, founded at the end of the 1920s, is the northernmost city in the world with more than 100 000 inhabitants.
Norilsk is located between the West Siberian Plain and Central Siberian Plateau at the foot of the 1,700-meter high Putoran Mountains, on some of the largest nickel deposits on Earth. Consequently, mining and smelting ore are the major industries. Norilsk is the center of a region where nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum, palladium, and coal are mined. Mineral deposits in the Siberian Craton had been known for two centuries before Norilsk was founded, but mining began only in 1939, when the buried portions of the Norilsk-Talnakh intrusions were found beneath mountainous terrain. Large areas around Norilsk are suffering from heavy pollution.