вторник, 11 ноября 2008 г.

Russia opens first new platinum deposits since Soviet era - paper


MOSCOW, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has begun developing major new platinum deposits for the first time since the Soviet era, business daily Kommersant said on Tuesday. (Gold for Russia - Image gallery)

UralPlatinum Holding, owned by tycoon Viktor Vekselberg and Mark Buzuk, board chairman of Koryak Geology Mining, estimates the reserves at the Kievei field on north Russia's Kola peninsula at up to 250 metric tons, the paper said.

Canada's Barrick Gold earlier confirmed reserves at a similar-sized deposit nearby, and the two companies could join efforts to develop the deposits.

Analysts say the Russian holding is unlikely to rival the market leader, Norilsk Nickel, but that Russia's positions on the global market will certainly be improved.

Until now, Russian mining companies have been mining platinum at deposits dating back to the Soviet era, the paper said.

BHP, a leading global natural resources company and one of Australia's oldest and largest companies, had attempted to develop the Kievei field before 1998, but froze the project due to the Russian financial crisis.

Malaya Pana, a subsidiary of UralPlatinum Holding, obtained the Kievei license in 2004, and has since invested around $8 million in the project since. Another $30 million will be required to complete prospecting at the deposit.

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