Representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East sent an appeal to Elon Musk, the President of the SpaceX Company in America, with a request to stop purchasing products of the Nornickel Company. The authors of the appeal believe that the company is causing great harm to the ecology of Russia. The appeal was published on the Aborigen Forum Website.
Social activists who represent the interests of the indigenous peoples of Russia indicated in their appeal to Elon Musk that the Nornickel Company had already caused huge damage to the environment on Taymyr due to the fuel spill in 2020. In addition, the authors of the appeal believe that the company harms the traditional way of life of indigenous peoples:
- Dear Mr. Elon Musk. <...> We are writing to you because we have learned from the media that you had asked the world's nickel producers to produce more of this metal in order to meet the needs of the industry, including the needs of Tesla headed by you. In your message, you mentioned that Tesla was ready to offer a "giant long-term contract" to nickel producers if they "produced nickel efficiently and sustainably."
The authors of the appeal drew Musk's attention to the fact that the territories where Nornickel works are inhabited by small-numbered indigenous peoples: Sámi, Nenets, Nganasans, Enets, Dolgans, Evenks, and others who have preserved their traditional way of life and need a clean environment for traditional industries.
The authors of the appeal believe that Elon Musk should omit purchasing copper, nickel, and other products of the company until the damage caused by Nornickel on the Taymyr and in Murmansk Oblast is assessed, compensation is paid to indigenous peoples, remediation of polluted territories is carried out, and the company's policy towards indigenous peoples is reviewed.
There was a large oil spill on the Taymyr Peninsula on May 29, 2020. Activists and environmentalists call it an environmental disaster. A tank collapsed at Nornickel’s TPP-3, and about 20 thousand tons of diesel fuel oil spilled, having affected the river. According to Greenpeace Russia, this is the first accident of this level in the transpolar Arctic, and the damage from the spill can reach 6 billion rubles. Russian President Vladimir Putin had to declare a federal emergency because of the accident.