The USSR steel industry started to thrive in the 1930s. The richest deposits were discovered and mined out for coal and iron ore. Iron and steel melting necessitated manufacturing of materials that accompany metallurgy processes. One of these materials is graphite.
The information about marvelous Siberian graphite ore had been spreading since the late 19th century. This ore is distinct for its rarest natural property – high carbon content (up to 94%). This property allows to reduce graphite operational costs by several times because the ore does not require concentration.
Graphite ore deposits (the Kureyka Noginsk ones) in the mouth reach of the Yenisey river were discovered by M.K. Sidorov, a Krasnoyarsk merchant, in 1859-1861. The Turukhansk graphite was displayed at Universal Exhibitions in 1862, 1867, 1873, 1876.
At a Universal Exhibition M.K. Sidorov was awarded with the bronze medal titled “For the spirit of enterprise shown while discovering the vast bed on the Yenisey riverbanks”.
It is notable that the famous traveler Fridtjof Nansen even sent a vessel with cargo of the Kureyka graphite ore to England.
The graphite factory was created at the dawn of the Krasnoyarsk region establishment. In May 1934 by the Decree of the Council of People's Commissars the factory started up in Krasnoyarsk city for the purpose of processing the Siberia’s Far North graphite ore into powder for iron & steel industry needs. Since those early days, with no delays the enterprise has been continuously providing foundries in Russia and former Soviet republics with its products. What is more, the Krasnoyarsk graphite is supplied to manufacturers of asbestos articles, rubber goods and other sectors. The amount of customers reached eight hundred enterprises and annual output ran to 42 thousand tonnes. Today, there have been reserved the established business ties to the major manufacturers such as Novolipetsk Steel, Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works, West-Siberian Metal Plant, Severstal, Fritex, Azovstal Iron & Steel Works, Techmet and others.
By providing metallurgists with additional graphite, the Krasnoyarsk graphite plant helped the country and the region obtain additional metal for the needs of industry and construction, which flourished in the 1970s and 1980s.
Like most Russian enterprises during the period of “perestroika” and the transition to new market economic conditions, Krasnoyarskgrafit experienced certain difficulties associated with a drop in industrial production and low solvency of consumers; offers of payment by barter, problems with the delivery of ore raw materials from the Far North, lack of working capital, etc. But due to the fact that the team was constantly in search of new modes and methods of work, improving relations with customers, finding and winning new market niches, looking for universal payment methods, today Krasnoyarskgrafit is flourishing: it has practically no tax debt and solves social issues of its employees, taking care of pensioners and "veterans of labor".
Most of the team are veteran professionals with 10 to 30 years of experience who are well versed in unique production technologies. Many of them have been awarded state awards and industry honorary distinctions, and thanks from the Gosstroy of the Russian Federation.
The company also pays great attention to environmental issues. There was even an idea to take Krasnoyarkgrafit out of the city, but after its employees developed an innovative and efficient method of air purification, pollutant emissions decreased by 10 times.
Today, Krasnoyarskgrafit is the exclusive manufacturer and supplier of cryptocrystalline foundry graphite GLS (in international practice, the name amorphous graphite powder is more often used) for metallurgical, foundry, asbestos products, rubber products and other industries in Russia and the CIS countries.
Since 2002, the Kureyskoye deposit has become the raw material base, the mine is located in the village of Svetlogorsk, Turukhansky district, 100 km from the confluence of the Kureika River into the Yenisei River.
Prior to this date, the source of raw ore (underground mining) was the Noginsk deposit on the Nizhnyaya Tunguska River.
In 2002 JSC "Krasnoyarskgrafit" won a tender for the development of a graphite deposit, held by the Regional Committee of Natural Resources, and the company was issued a license for 20 years. Currently, work has been carried out to extend the license.
The depth of occurrence of graphite ores reaches 23 m, the thickness of the layers varies from 2 to 15.8 m. The total reserves are estimated at 990 thousand tons. The area of the mining complex is 5.7 hectares. The field is located at a distance of 1500 km from Krasnoyarsk. An open-pit mining method is used.
Raw ore can only be transported during the short navigation period when the Kureyka river is full. To supply products for export from the field itself, logistics routes are being developed through the northern sea route.
The head processing enterprise is a complex that forms a technological line on an area of 48 thousand m (4.8 ha): railway line. buildings-25, structures-19.
The ore warehouse is located from the edge of the river. Yenisei at a distance of 100m, which is the territory of the Krasnoyarsk river port and makes it convenient to unload ore from ships.
The production line capacity of 15-20 thousand tons per year is used by 30-50% based on annual consumer demand. In addition to castable graphite, low-ash graphites have been studied and are being produced in pilot batches for use in lithium-ion current sources, lubricating colloidal compositions. Together with metallurgical and foundry companies, work is being carried out to test briquettes for cupola, both for joint use with coke and as an independent product, granular graphite for injection in metallurgical processes for foaming slags and carburizing the melt.