Norilsk Nikel factory has come forward admitting to a spillage at its Nadezhda plant, located just off the Daldykan river.
The spillage occurred on September 5, a few days before the images of a blood-red Daldykan went viral on social media.
The company has announced heavy rains had caused a “filtration dam” at the plant to overflow into the river.
The content of this effluent has yet to be determined and analysed. Nonetheless, the factory claims the spillage will cause no danger to locals or the river ecosystem.
SBS Science spoke to CSIRO Land and Water senior research scientist, Dr Simon Apte, about his thoughts on the turn of events.
“The red colour tells us where the spilt material is, but we won’t know the extent of the impacts of this spill until we have some reliable data on the concentrations of contaminants in the water,” he says.
Last week, pictures emerged of an uncharacteristically blood-red Daldykan river in Norilsk, Russia.
At the time no conclusive explanation was presented for the river’s crimson hue. However, authorities had issued an investigation into a neighbouring nickel factory for any recent pipe leaks or breaks.
The factory, Norilsk Nikel, denied it was responsible when the images first emerged, sharing their own images of the allegedly “natural tone” river in response.
“The waters show the natural tone (above); the river and its mainstream are in regular condition, which goes against the information about any colour changes due to an alleged case of large-scale river pollution,” Norilsk Nikel wrote.