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WWF and Polymetal disagree on the Kutyn project
WWF and Polymetal disagreed on the Kutyn gold mining project in the Khabarovsk Territory. WWF has accused Polymetal of conducting an environmental review without public participation.
According to Interfax, public discussions took place in early July, later a request was sent to Polymetal to provide materials for the project documentation with the changes introduced. However, the environmentalists considered that the materials were sent for public discussion only on October 15, after receiving a positive conclusion from the state ecological expertise, which was approved by Rosprirodnadzor on October 9.
As Alexei Knizhnikov, head of the WWF Russia program on environmental responsibility of business, explained, the public examination should be carried out simultaneously with the state one. The fund plans to contact the regulatory authorities on this matter.
Polymetal insists that the company's actions were in accordance with the law, in addition, there were no serious remarks in the framework of official public hearings. All documentation complies with the environmental requirements of Russian legislation.
Polymetal officials suggest WWF is having organizational problems, likely related to the coronavirus pandemic. The company added that they are ready to continue cooperation with the public environmental review.
The launch of production at the Kutyn project is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023, with stripping operations scheduled to begin in the third quarter of next year. Capital expenditures are estimated at $ 80 million.