Alrosa to Double Diamond Sale to Asia in 2018

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By Marina Romanova

CrV6ASvUIAAIIH5A day ahead of the Second Eurasian Economic Forum, Russian PJSC Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, has open its Eurasian Diamond Centre in Far Eastern port-city of Vladivostok. According to the miner press release, the company wants to boost gem sales to Asia-Pacific nations, including China, India, Japan, and Singapore; and improve cooperation with companies in the region.

The new trading platform will provide an infrastructure cluster to unite diamond industry companies and cater to export-import operations. The Centre will also be in charge for the search of “potential new partners and investors to set up manufacturing facilities for industrial grade diamonds and production of diamond cutting industry equipment.”

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Russia’s diamond miner to start new kimberlite pipe and plug state budget holes

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By Marina Romanova

KMO_124003_04031_1_t218_212550Russian diamond miner Alrosa PJSC has announced the start of the development of Zarya kimberlite pipe, a new deposit in its Aikhal Mining and Processing Division (MPD) located in Mirny District of Russian Republic of Sakha. The initial investment estimated by the company to approximately US $150 million. The announcement came along with the news of 10.9 percent of central government Alrosa’s stake, valued at more than US$860 million, to be auction soon.

The new deposit

The first commercial blasting on brand new Zarya pipe reportedly took place on June 10th and triggered the first stage of the deposit development – surface stripping to remove barren sedimentary rock overlying the ore body, Diamond World News Service explains. Continue reading…

Regulator to approve acquisition of 13.3 percent of Siberian Bystrinsky GOK by Chinese Investors

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By Marina Romanova

IMG_2748!Government Commission on Monitoring Foreign Investments has approved long anticipated acquisition of 13.3 percent of Bystrinsky copper-gold-iron development project by Chinese Highland Fund, quoted Igor Artemyev, head of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, as saying.

Last December, China’s Highland Fund, consortium established by prominent Chinese investment funds and corporations, has agreed to acquire a 13.33 percent stake in the Bystrinsky copper project of MMC Norilsk Nickel OJSC located in the Zabaykalsky Kray of Russian Siberia for a total consideration of US$100 million. Since December 2015, partners were expecting Federal Antimonopoly Service to consent the acquisition.

Nornickel did not disclose the identities of the Chinese investors behind the deal. Pavel Fedorov, company deputy chief executive, said to The Financial Times, they included “some of the premier Chinese private equity and state-owned investment corporations”. PRC’s firms are expected to become consumers of the plant’s main production, copper concentrate.  Continue reading…

Evraz to Become Russia’s Largest Coking Coal Producer

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Oct. 9 – Russia’s Evraz is to take control over coal miner Raspadskaya after acquiring half the stake of the Cyprus-based investment vehicle, Corber Enterprises. This US$800-million deal will enable the steelmaker to sufficiently run the coal-coking business as well as turning it into Russia’s largest steel-component producer.

Although Evraz did not specify the total price tag for the deal, it is said to have paid about US$202 million in cash, and the rest in new shares and warrants. At current prices, it is approximately just under US$800 million. Continue reading…

Gazprom to Buy Gas in Brunei

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Jul. 20 – Russian state monopoly (and the holder of the world’s largest gas reserves) Gazprom could begin purchasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Brunei after 2013, when current contracts with its partner Brunei LNG will expire, the Russian daily Vedomosti reports, citing documents prepared for Gazprom’s board.

Gazprom has been struggling to start LNG projects in Russia due to global financial woes and recent discoveries of vast unconventional gas resources in the United States.

In June, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met with his Brunei counterpart Yasmin bin Haji Umar in St. Petersburg, within the framework of Russia’s APEC chairmanship. Continue reading…

Zarubezhneft Discovers Offshore Oil Deposit in Vietnam

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Jul. 19 – OAO Zarubezhneft, a Russian state oil producer, has discovered an offshore oil deposit in Vietnam, the company said in a statement earlier this week.

The deposit is located in the area where the company produces oil jointly with its Vietnamese partner PetroVietnam.

“The results of well testing allow us to talk about the discovery of another offshore field in Vietnam: the White Hare,” Zarubezhneft said in a statement. Continue reading…

China Eximbank to Help Fund RusAl’s Factory Construction in Siberia

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Jun. 26 – Russian UC RusAl, the world’s largest aluminum producer, and the Export-Import Bank of China (China Eximbank), one of China’s largest financial institutions, have signed a cooperation agreement on a RusAl greenfield project in Eastern Siberia worth up to US$850 million.

The agreement foresees joint cooperation on financing for the construction of a new anode factory in the Irkutsk region. Anodes (carbon electrodes) are used in the electrolysis process to produce aluminum. About 550 kilograms of anodes are required to produce 1 ton of aluminum. Continue reading…

Miners in Tyva Republic to Subsidize Reindeer Breeding

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Mar. 15 – The government of Siberia’s Tyva Republic has asked foreign and domestic miners operating in the region to pay subsidies to local reindeer breeders, according to the republic’s web site.

Under the agreement, China’s Longxing and the local Golevskaya Mining Company will allocate 600 rubles (US$20) for the maintenance of each reindeer in the Todzhinsky District of Tyva, where both companies operate and where 77 percent of the region’s reindeer population is located. The funds will go to the district’s reindeer breeding farms. Continue reading…

The Republic of Tuva and the State of Russian Coal Exports

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Mar. 14 – Russia’s US$8 billion investment into Siberia to develop the Tyva Ulug-Khem Coal Basin, estimated to have 2.5 times more reserves than the Mongolian Tavan Tolgoi field, could double the country’s metallurgical coal exports by 2020.

“Annual coal production in Tyva may reach 40 million metric tons in 2020 should all the companies implement the announced plans in full,” Dmitry Sakhno, project manager at OAO Severstal, Russia’s second- largest steel producer, said in an interview with Bloomberg.

At the same time, according to Sakhno, the delays by some of the mining companies as well as complexity’s of developing the region may curb production by 2020 to 15 million to 20 million tons. Continue reading…

Russian Gold Production Increases, but Fails to Meet Expectations

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Feb. 6 – Russian gold production rose 3.6 percent year-on-year in 2011 to 209 metric tons, but below an earlier forecast, data published on Wednesday by the Gold Industrialists’ Union industry lobby showed.

The union expected Russia to produce 211 tons of gold last year – up from 202 tons in 2010 – of which 185 tons was expected to be mined.

Despite missing expectations, Russia, whose reserves are second only to South Africa’s, managed to return to positive growth after annual output declined by 1.4 percent in 2010. Continue reading…

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