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How does the Australian work in Chukotka?

Tigers Realm Coal Limited feels comfortable in Chukotka

From Anadyr to Melbourne - 12 thousand kilometers. It would seem that the harsh Arctic region and the fertile southern continent have in common? Coal turned out to be the connecting link. Australian coal company Tigers Realm Coal Limited (TIG) is comfortable in Chukotka, successfully conducting geological exploration in the Bering coal basin and preparing to start developing the first of a whole group of world-class coking coal deposits it discovered here. Tigers participate in the first Eastern Economic Forum, which takes place in September in Vladivostok.

How does the Australian work in Chukotka?
Russia has gigantic deposits, vast land areas, but the degree of exploration of the subsoil, especially in the Far East, is very low - several times lower than that of the main raw-materials competitors: the USA, Canada, Australia, Latin America. Tigers, on the other hand, consider the Far Eastern regions of Russia to be extremely promising, therefore, they are increasing the volume of exploration and production work. Chukotka seemed especially attractive to Australian coal miners. And not only because it is a very promising region in terms of mineral resources and energy resources. A significant plus is that Chukotka is excellently located, has an extensive access to the Pacific Ocean, which means that it is possible to develop port infrastructure for exporting products to nearby Asian markets. A number of mining projects are already underway. Chukotka has attracted not only significant investment by TIG in the search for coking coal, but also billions of dollars in investments by Canadian Kinross Gold and Russian Polymetal in gold exploration and production - attracted not only by the wealth of its subsoil, but also by a competitive tax regime, well-oiled and fast the procedure for obtaining the necessary permits and approvals.

Over the past four years, Tigers have invested more than $ 85 million in the discovery of coking coal deposits on the shores of the Bering Sea, preparing a resource base (591 million tons of grades that are in short supply on the world market), sufficient to export over 10 million tons of coking coal per year. Most of the invested funds were attracted from Asia and Australia, but last year Russian investment funds joined foreigners.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Baring Vostok Capital Partners (BVCP), together with Asian and Australian investors, invested in Tigers almost 47 out of a total of $ 55 million of funds raised. This money was used to prepare the Banking Feasibility Study and to design the development of the Fandyushkinskoye Pole coking coal deposit, the first discovered in North Amaam (starting Project F), as well as to continue exploration in the Amaam area.

“We are delighted that two established funds - RDIF and BVCP - have shown faith in the potential of TIG's projects by providing the company with substantial investments. We are grateful that the foundations have agreed to participate in this project. This confirms our opinion that our projects are world-class projects and Russia is an attractive investment target. We see great potential for further joint development of the larger Amaam field, ”said Craig Pery, Chief Executive Officer of TIG.

Governor of Chukotka Roman Kopin confirmed that the government of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug highly appreciates the importance of the new investment project: one of the most promising industrial sites in Chukotka. At the same time, it is also a profitable investment field. We express our hope that bilateral cooperation within the framework of this project will be fruitful. " The head of the region stressed that the Bering project is fully supported by the regional government and the Australian partner is provided with the necessary assistance for its implementation.

The Australian company believes that the Russian Far East has every opportunity to become one of the main suppliers of minerals to Asia, and especially to China. Meanwhile, the latter continues to search for alternative suppliers of raw materials. The Russian Far East and, in particular, Chukotka, are in the field of vision of Chinese entrepreneurs as potential new suppliers. The advantages over other countries are relatively low costs and, compared to traditional markets, less distance. Currently, the volume of trade between the Russian Far East and China is approximately $ 3 billion per year. Projects such as the export of coking coal from Chukotka can multiply this figure.

The so-called "Project F", being implemented on the territory of the North Amaam field, is the starting point for Tigers Realm Coal Limited. The company's primary interest in this area is explained by the fact that a sufficiently thick layer of low-sulfur coking coal has been explored there, suitable for cheap open-pit mining. The territorial proximity of the site to the operating seaport of Beringovsky is also beneficial.

The project includes a mining complex with a coal mine, a dressing and sorting plant and related infrastructure; transport infrastructure with 35-kilometer an all-season road from Project F to the existing seaport of Beringovskiy (about 17 km have already been built); a coal terminal with coal warehouses and modernization of the existing offshore loading fleet. According to the bank's feasibility study, the Australian company plans to export up to 1 million tons of low-sulfur coking coal per year from the Fandyushkinskoye Pole deposit. Chukotka coal will primarily be shipped to China, South Korea and Japan.

It is expected that Project F, like other deposits of the Bering coal basin, will become part of the first advanced development area (ASEZ) in Chukotka. The TOP regime will reduce the tax on mineral extraction from 57 to 34 rubles per 1 ton, the profit tax will decrease from 20% to 18% within 2015-2020 years and up to 8% in 2021-2025 years. Unified social tax benefits (reducing the total load to 7,5% of the wage bill) are designed to attract qualified personnel.

Based on the results of geological exploration 2013-2015 years, the tonnage of “measured” and “specified” resources was significantly increased. Mr. Perry has no doubts that reserves and, consequently, the volume of cheap quarry production will increase: "Most of the coal basin has not yet been studied in detail, there is an impressive potential for further increasing reserves as exploration continues." According to him, compared with July 2013, the resources of North Amaam have increased by 170% and today they amount to more than 72 million tons.

The world coal market has been shaken by a severe crisis for the fourth year already, but even amid the crisis, the production of coking coal on the Bering Sea coast promises to be profitable. “Of course, now is not the best time to start such a large-scale project, but we are inspired by the fact that it is quite simple and technically understandable. The Pacific Ocean is nearby, coal is here. Everything can be seen on one sheet of the map. We are optimistic, ”said Craig Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Tigers Realm Coal Ltd.


Tigers Realm Coal Limited (TIG) is a coking coal mining company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He is the owner of 80% of the authorized capital in Russian legal entities that hold a number of licenses for prospecting and exploration and mining of coal in two licensed areas - at Amaam and Upper Alkatvaam (the working name of the site is North Amaam).
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