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People know where to look for gold

The Magadan region is preparing to become a pilot region for the free transfer of gold

People know where to look for gold
Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Magadan Region Vladimir Mitkin told the EastRussia correspondent about the "golden" prospects of the region.

- Magadan region has been lobbying for the adoption of a special law for a long time, more than 10 years, which would allow the free bringing of gold. An initiative that would give the right to a wide range of people to engage in artisanal mining. What's with this law now?
- The draft law with all amendments, additions and corrections of comments from different structures was submitted to the Government, and the government already sends it to the State Duma for consideration on the first reading. We hope that it will be considered already in the autumn session. 

- This law will allow a free transfer throughout the country, or only in the Magadan Region?
- A “pilot” status is envisaged for the Magadan region. To begin with, individual entrepreneurs will be allowed to work with gold only with us.

- What are your expectations?
- By and large, we are not talking about an increase in gold mining, about an increase in taxes. First of all, the law has a social orientation, since it affects a large number of people. People who have worked and continue to work in areas where placer deposits are being developed, who know where the gold is left. Stocks there may be within a kilogram or two, or maybe they are not at all on the balance sheet. By the way, in this regard, we have comments on the text of the bill, which will now be considered in the State Duma.

- What are the comments?
- The bill proposes to allow individual entrepreneurs to work on plots with reserves of no more than 10 kilograms. We want to expand this formulation - not only plots with reserves of up to 10 kilograms, but also plots where there are no reserves. There are very specific people who know such areas, they worked there 20 years ago, and are ready to return, even though the reserves for these areas are not listed anywhere.

"So, literally, where is the treasure buried?"
- Well, not that the treasure, but some absolutely small pounds. For large enterprises that develop placer gold, it makes absolutely no sense, or expediency, to go to such plots because of two kilograms. It is clear that these sites can be of interest just for such individual entrepreneurs.

- It's understandable, large enterprises are a completely different approach. Here, and investments in billions, and infrastructure from the budget, and jobs. What does the start of the Natalka, which occurred at the WEF, mean for the industry?
- This, of course, is a landmark event not only for the Magadan Region, but for Russia as a whole. Because the increase in 10 tons is very serious for the economy of the region.

- Magadan region becomes the second region in Russia for gold mining?
- Yes. At the end of 2016, the third place, ahead of us were the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Chukotka. This year, even without Natalka, we should take second place. "Natalka", according to preliminary data, 2018 is 8 tons, 2019 - 11 tons and 2020 - 12 tons. If today the plans are 31 tons, then this will add almost a third, that is, we will be producing about 40 tons from 2020. And somewhere in 2023-2024, we will generally reach 50 or more tons.

- How can you characterize the relations of the region with subsoil user? - We are constantly in contact, we help on some issues, if they apply. At the enterprise we often, we see the dynamics. This is a very impressive scale. Comparable construction was not in the region. Today we have the largest factory in Pavlik. They have planned 3 million tons, now it will gradually be released by 5 million tons of processing. And Natalka - twice as much, 10 million tons. That is, it is the largest enterprise in terms of productivity in Russia.

- Does Pavlik have a good business? There was information that they were so heavily credited there that at certain gold prices they could talk about reselling the project if they themselves did not have enough strength.
- I'm not ready to comment on their economic results. They started in 2015 year, when a ton of gold was produced on Pavlik. In 2016-m - already 3,8 tons and this year - about 7 tons. What is 7 tons is about 15-18 billion rubles. Therefore, I do not know how their financial flows go there, how many are going to repay loans, etc., but such a project can not be, I think, not self-supporting. I do not know, maybe the payback period there is not one year, but a little more, but it should be payback.

- One more question - about coal. What are the prospects for the development of mining in the Omsukchan coal basin? They said that "There will be no road, there will be no project ..."
- This is an export-oriented project. Negotiations are ongoing with both the Japanese and the Indian company. Investments are definitely needed there. What you are talking about is true: without infrastructure, without access to the sea, of course, this project will not take place.

- And, maybe, it is necessary to make a TOP, let the state build the road?
- Or a TOP, or an investment project, where the state guarantees, say, the construction of roads, infrastructure. And the enterprise will do the rest: and they are ready to build a pier, and to directly arrange the production. 
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