Dikson town on the Taymyr peninsula in the Russian Arctic has the largest natural reserve in the country and one of the biggest in the world. The natural reserve is called Bolshoi Arkticheskiy (The Great Arctic State Nature Reserve) and covers 4.2 million hectares  with outstanding biodiversity, including sea lions and polar bears  .
Furthermore, 550 people inhabit the area . Historically, the Dikson settlement was formed on the island in the Kara Sea but expanded to the Taymyr Peninsula later on. That’s why Dikson has two parts, the island, and the mainland .
Besides the biodiversity, the Taymyr peninsula is also rich in high-quality coal. In October 2016, Russia signed energy co-operation deals with India. Following that agreement, the Russian government developed a new mega open-cast anthracite coal mine project in Dikson (Western part of the Taimyr peninsula). The high-quality coking coal (anthracite) is suitable for steel making .
VostokCoal-Diskon is the project developer company, that plans to extract 30 million tons of anthracite (coal) per year . An increased target of 80 million tonnes for the Indian market has been mentioned by the year 2024 . "This is the richest area for anthracite in the world" , the company stated. It is worth mentioning that the company is also interested in oil reserves in Taymyr as another "ambitious" project .
India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas said: “We are the second-largest coal importer in the world, ... so we need to increase coal supplies” . The Russian government furthermore stated that "Thanks to the development of the coal project, the increase in shipments on the Northern Sea Route will be ensured" .
On the other hand, environmentalists stated how “Developing new mega coal projects in such an ecologically sensitive area is a "madness”. Given the fact that the project is expanding its boundaries to the Natural reserve area, environmentalists consider the project illegal  . Moreover, for environmentalists, the project is a destructive activity with huge negative impacts on biodiversity . For instance, "an international bird monitoring center is based only 2 km from the open-cast coal mine" . Greenpeace Russia also opposes these plans, commenting that the mine is based only 1km from the nature reserve  .
Residents of the Dikson town raised their concerns as well. The residents stated that bears spend most of their time on floating sea ice but recently they have noticed the ice melts quicker than usual. Therefore bears spend the summer months on the mainland, close to their homes .
The International Barents Observer (IBS) environmentalists reported to the State Environmental Monitoring Agency -- Rosprirodnadzor the illegal mining operations on the Taimyr peninsula and sued the VostokCoal-Dikson company for environmental law violations. The court ruled that the company has to pay 7.4 million dollars for mining violations . Since the government supports the coal project, environmentalists fear how the mining will not be stopped . On the contrary, they argue how priorities are given to the highly controversial coal project and not the environmental preservation of the Taymyr Peninsula in the Russian Arctic  .