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Norilsk Nickel built the GOK in Western

The launch of Bystrinsky GOK is a positive event with alarming symptoms

31 October in the Trans-Baikal Territory launched Bystrinsky ore mining and processing enterprise. The enterprise was built at the Bystrinskoye gold-iron-copper ore deposit by Norilsk Nickel. This is one of the largest investment projects implemented by Norilsk Nickel. In March 2017, during the events of the Russian Business Week, Vice President of the company Elena Bezdenezhny estimated the cost of the project at about $ 1,7 billion.

Norilsk Nickel built the GOK in Western
Photo: minpromtorg.gov.ru
According to the company Micon International Co, which carried out an independent evaluation of the field in 2006, the confirmed reserves of Bystrinsky for copper and iron are 2,18 million tons and 69,62 million tons, respectively. The share of prospected precious metals is 8,28 million ounces of gold and 46,95 million ounces of silver. When reaching the designed capacity (2019 year), the plant will process 10 million tons of ore per year.

The main investors of the project, in addition to Norilsk Nickel, are the investment fund CIS Natural Resources Fund (36,6% of shares) and the consortium of Chinese investors Highland Fund (13,3% of shares). The CIS Natural Resources Fund was created by Vladimir Potanin, the main shareholder of Norilsk Nickel, and Grigory Berezkin, the owner of the UST group. For Berezkin, Bystrinsky GOK is not the first asset in Transbaikalia. In 2009, he acquired 76,9% of the shares of the power monopolist PJSC "Territorial Generating Company No. 14".

For the Trans-Baikal Territory, whose economy is going through hard times, launching a mining and processing plant of this capacity is a serious engine of development. It is included in the list of priority investment projects in the Siberian Federal District and is key for Transbaikalia. According to the Minister of Economic Development of the region Sergey Novichenko, the projected amount of tax payments to the consolidated budget this year will be 390 million rubles. In 2018, this figure could be more than 980 million rubles. The total amount of taxes for the period of work of GOK from 2017 in 2026 years is roughly estimated at 16,7 billion rubles.

- The implementation of such a large investment project will have a multiplier effect for the entire economy of the region. It is important that the small and medium businesses of the region will be involved in servicing the created enterprise. Already, PJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel has carried out work to attract outsourcers to provide food, medical care, washing and cleaning, provide fuel and lubricants, conduct drilling and blasting operations, explorations, maintenance of road and rail infrastructure, transport services, conversation with EastRussia Sergey Novichenko.

With him agrees the head of the department of economic theory and world economy of Transbaikal State University, Doctor of Economics Vitaly Burov.

- Bystrinsky GOK is a positive example and an impulse for improving the investment climate and, accordingly, attracting additional investments in the region's economy. At the same time, other industrially valuable components are contained in the ore of the deposit, which in some cases go to waste and are not extracted. Scientists of the Trans-Baikal State University have developed technologies for extracting data from mineral formations from waste, including extraction of fine and dispersed forms of copper and gold. This technology has been successfully used in practice and it has patents of the Russian Federation, "Vitaly Burov said.

In his view, the launch of the plant will not have a significant impact on the world price of copper.

- Its total capacity is less than 0,7% of world production and cannot seriously affect the metals market. The increase in demand in China has a more significant impact on the price, which is associated with new infrastructure projects and housing construction. It is also possible to adjust for the amount of some "speculative" demand, as was the case with gold in the period 2009-2017. So its price in 2012 soared to $ 1900, and in 2017 fell to about $ 1230, the expert concluded.

According to Nikolai Lipatin, candidate of economic sciences, commissioning of such an object as Bystrinsky GOK is an absolutely positive event only at first glance.

- This is the impetus for the economy of the region, and the growth of assets of domestic business structures, and a new source for budgets of all levels. However, the fact that the entire technological process is provided with equipment produced in Sweden and the US can become an alarming symptom, the scientist says. - The inability of the country to provide domestic equipment for the development of its own deposits is a bright marker of the raw material nature of the domestic economy. Ultimately, without overcoming the negative tendencies of de-industrialization, the country's economy will not be able to provide a long-term political course for a long time. In case of confrontation, such facilities as Bystrinsky GOK are in the zone of serious sanctions risks.
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