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Gold is no less than fish
Kamchatka opens up new opportunities for cooperation with Southeast Asia
For a long time the Kamchatka region remained on the periphery of the world economy. The system of division of competences that existed in the Soviet times between the regions determined the place of Kamchatka as a supplier of seafood and the main Russian naval outpost in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean.
However, things are changing now. The vector of development of the world economy over the past two decades has been rapidly turning to the East - towards the Asia-Pacific region (APR). “Asian tigers” every year require more and more diverse resources for further development. And this opens up new opportunities for investors associated with the development of the rich mineral and raw material potential of the Kamchatka Territory.
Raw food starvation
Despite the general slowdown in the pace of the world economy, the Asia-Pacific countries continue to observe and forecast a steady increase in energy consumption. The International Energy Agency, for example, predicts an increase in demand for natural gas in these countries to 2035 a year at an annual rate of 4,5%. In China - at 7% per year. Oil imports are also increasing in the Middle Kingdom. Experts predict that next year Russia's Far Eastern neighbor will import 61% of its black gold (2010% in 54). A similar situation with coal. Last year, China imported an unprecedented volume of coal for power plants and iron and steel enterprises - 327 million tons, and, despite the development of its own coal mining, it is not going to reduce coal imports in the foreseeable future. An acute need in the APR countries is also in iron ore and non-ferrous metals.
Thus, the growth of the economies of the APR countries brought to life such projects in the Russian Far East, which for many years were considered unclaimed. Yakutia starts supplying gas there (Gazprom), oil (Rosneft, CNPC, Surgutneftegaz), sharply increasing coal exports (Mechel, Kolmar). Transbaikalia - copper (Metalloinvest), the Amur Region and the Jewish Autonomous Region - iron ore (the Petropavlovsk group). Extraction of export hydrocarbons in the Sakhalin region is also increasing. Naturally, the Kamchatka Krai, which also possesses a significant mineral and raw material potential, can not stay away from this process. Moreover, Kamchatka has one undoubted advantage over purely continental regions - logistics. The port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is already the main port in the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route, the shortest sea route between the countries of the Asia-Pacific Region and Europe. And already by 2020, China intends to redirect to the Northern Sea Route up to 15% of its giant foreign trade turnover. Therefore, from the point of view of logistics, the development of many mineral and raw materials projects on the territory of Kamchatka is even more profitable than on the mainland.
In the Soviet era, Kamchatka, in fact, was perceived as one large naval base. Therefore, the development of the region's mineral and raw materials base was practically not carried out, although in the Koryak Autonomous Okrug (it became part of the Kamchatka Territory in 2007) platinum was successfully mined. Meanwhile, the geology of the peninsula is such that there are rich deposits of gas, coal, native sulfur, thermal waters, indigenous and alluvial gold and silver, nickel, copper, platinum, tin, lead and zinc.
“In 10 years we can become Sakhalin,” says Deputy Minister of the Government of the Kamchatka Territory Marina Sabota about the hydrocarbon potential of Kamchatka. Deputy Prime Minister Yury Zubar does not rule out that in the future, the region, following the example of its neighbors, will be able to export significant amounts of gas produced in its territory. This is possible during the construction of a plant for liquefying natural gas (LNG) on the territory of Kamchatka, since it is in this form that Kamchatka gas is most efficiently exported to the APR countries. The benefits of such an enterprise are clearly demonstrated not only by the LNG plant on Sakhalin, but also by the example of NOVATEK, which is currently building an LNG plant on the Yamal Peninsula. Despite the fact that Yamal and China divide more than 10 thousand km and the ice of the Arctic Ocean, Chinese CNPC has already contracted annual deliveries of Yamal liquefied gas to China in the amount of 3 million tons per year for 20 years. Therefore, the Kamchatka LNG plant, when confirming the level of gas reserves on the shelf of the Sea of Okhotsk and their subsequent development, will be no less efficient than LNG plants in Sakhalin, Yamal and Vladivostok. Moreover, the resource base for it can serve not only the deposits of the Western Kamchatka shelf, but also an enclave in the middle part of the Sea of Okhotsk. “In terms of reserves, these territories in 52 thousand square meters. km - a real Ali Baba cave, access to which opens up tremendous opportunities and prospects for the Russian economy, ”Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia Sergey Donskoy assessed the reserves there.
The Neutral Klondike
Of particular interest to investors are reserves of gold, silver, platinum, nickel and tin of the Kamchatka Territory. To date, more than 400 gold ore occurrences and mineralization points are known in Kamchatka, most of which have not been fully studied. "There is a high probability that much more is hidden under the earth than we imagine. We are at the source of investment history lasting for decades, which will bring prosperity and opportunities to both investors and the region itself ", - the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Kamchatka Territory, Vasily Prijdun, is convinced.
The company "Sigma", in its turn, has already invested 110 million dollars in the development of the Ozernovskoye gold deposit, located in the inaccessible Karaginsky district of the Kamchatka Territory. By 2018, SIGMA intends to increase its gold production to 2 tons per year.
In total, 10 deposits and 22 prospective areas of indigenous gold with preliminary estimated reserves of metal 150 tons and estimated resources 1,2 thousand tons are explored and explored to varying degrees in the Kamchatka Krai. Stocks of passing silver are recorded on the balance in the amount of 570 tons, the forecast resources exceed 6,7 thousand tons. Alluvial gold reserves are estimated at 54 deposits in volumes of 3,9 tons, the estimated resources are 23 tons. Therefore, taking into account the mining and processing factories and plants already functioning and under construction, the regional government predicts that by the end of this decade, gold production in Kamchatka should increase to 10 – 12 tons per year. Silver mining - from 2 to 15 tons per year. But geological scientists argue that this is only the tip of the "golden iceberg" that is hidden in the depths of Kamchatka.
It is clear that it is not easy to develop the mineral and raw materials of Kamchatka. The regional authorities, for their part, are committed to providing maximum support to investors who decided to take part in the development of the mineral and raw materials of Kamchatka. "Assistance in the implementation of investment projects in the Kamchatka Krai is multilateral, including through the reduction and simplification of procedures related to the issuance of permits, with the work on connection to the communications networks. The system of taxation becomes more and more investor-oriented. There are other, non-material preferences for investors, "- emphasizes the general director of the Corporation for Development of the Kamchatka Territory Nikolai Pegin.
Thus, the Kamchatka Territory, once a terra incognita, not only for foreign, but also for Russian investors, now opens up new opportunities for cooperation with Southeast Asia.