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16 Mar 2021

CSOs call on BASF to take action to address Nornickel's impacts on indigenous peoples of Russia’s Far North

Nickel Smelters, Norilsk, Siberia, Russia

In November 2020, representatives of indigenous peoples, environmental and human rights organisations wrote to BASF raising concerns about its business relationship with Russian mining company Nornickel due to the company's "record of human rights violations and environmental devastation". This includes incidents such as the oil spill of May 2020 in Norilsk, Russia. The organisations have asked BASF to cease purchases of nickel, copper and other products from Nornickel until it complies with a number of environmental and human rights standards (see letter).

BASF replied to the open letter in December 2020, stating among others that they "closely follow and clearly see Nornickel’s willingness and steps to improve".

In March 2021, the civil society organisations responded to BASF, urging the company to do more to address Nornickel’s impacts on indigenous peoples in Russia’s Far North. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited BASF and Nornickel to comment on these concerns. Their responses are available below, along with the full exchange between BASF and the organisations.

Company Responses

Norilsk Nickel View Response