The history of copper industry in the Urals dates back to the 2nd millennium BC, the Bronze and Early Iron Ages. Copper ores were mined and smelted at various sites, with Gumishev mine among them.
Gumishev mine was rediscovered in 1702, when Imperial Russia under Peter the Great began to build its new metal industry base in the Urals. The region rose to its significance as important industrial stronghold of the country and remains it for now on.
In 1854, Pyshminsko-Klyuchevskoy mine was found out, and in 1867 Pyshminsko-Klyuchevskoy smelter was commissioned near Ekaterinburg. A small miners’ village Medniy Rudnik (in future to become town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma) was rising around the production sites and later in Soviet period Uralelektromed refinery was built. In the long run, Uralelektromed turned into the core of forming UMMC Group. Now UMMC headquarters is located in the town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma.
After considerable decline and devastation during the Russian Revolution and Civil War, copper industry in the Urals was rebuilt almost from scratch with western technical assistance, mostly American and German.
Besides Uralelektromed Refinery (commissioned in 1934), a great number of mines, concentrators and smelters were constructed: Krasnouralskiy smelter (1931), Mednogorskiy smelter (1939), Sredneuralskiy smelter (1942), Gaiskiy mine and concentrator (1959), Uchalinskiy mine and concentrator (1961).
These enterprises together with other ones formed the Soviet industrial trust Uralmed, which mined and produced the bulk of Soviet copper.
After the collapse of the USSR, the existing copper enterprises were reorganized into joint stock companies.
Cooperation of two of them – Uralelektromed and Gayskiy GOK laid the foundation of Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company (UMMC) from 1995.
The UMMC was officially established in October 1999 and has gradually been consolidating the largest part of existing copper enterprises in the Urals and other regions of Russia.
In the process of copper downstream integration, UMMC incorporated several brass mills, cable and machinery plants. Along with precious metals (gold and silver) produced in Uralelektromed Refinery the diversification of metal business added to UMMC structure zinc and steel mills.
Since 2006 UMMC has been managing the Russian second largest coal miner Kuzbassrazrezugol, which was fully incorporated in 2015.
In 2016, UMMC incorporated Chelyabinsk Zinc Plant (CZP) and became the largest producer of zinc in Russia.