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    By John Helmer in Moscow A briefing by Russian coking coal producer Raspadskaya this week suggests pessimism that sales to the domestic steelmills will recover beyond their current monthly level. For brokers and speculators, the fortunes of the publicly listed mining company (ticker RASP:RU) now depend on betting that China will continuing substituting […]

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    By John Helmer in Moscow Severstal announced Monday that the Russian state savings bank Sberbank has granted it a three-year $300 million credit line. Quoting the chief financial officer, Sergei Kuznetsov, the steelmaker said: “These credit facilities will allow the Company to further strengthen its liquidity and extend maturity profile. Sberbank facility is […]

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by John Helmer in Moscow The attempt last week by Russia’s consumer protection agency to halt all imports of Belarus dairy products on technical labeling grounds has been called off, after an agreement was reached between Moscow and Minsk to impose a quota on imports of dry milk shipments, and increase the tonnage of imported […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A bid to revive the Russian mine prospects of Toronto-listed Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), and head off liquidation by De Beers, failed over the weekend with the disclosure that a US and UK hedge fund operated by Elliott Management Corporation and Elliott Advisors was withdrawing its offer to buy a […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A client alert was issued Thursday by Deutsche Bank analyst Olga Okunova, warning that even if the Mechel Group succeeds in refinancing a $1.5 billion loan, which has been overdue since March, the group faces serious cash shortage and debt service problems this year and next. Mechel has made new […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russia’sconsumer protection service has issued a ban on imports of milk and dairy products from Belarus. Although the reason given publicly appears to apply to imports from the Ukraine, Lithuania, and Latvia, their milk trade has so far not been interrupted. This has encouraged speculation that the Kremlin is using […]

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By John Helmer At a hearing on June 9, the Australian Federal Court issued filing deadlines, and ordered a hearing date in August for adjudication of the clash between manganese miners, OM Holdings (OMH) of Singapore and Stratford Sun Ltd, a unit of Consolidated Minerals. It is the first skirmish over the tactics OMH has […]

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Alrosa has issued the following statement, dated June 8, through a Russian internet publication, www.rough-polished.com: “ALROSA intends to bring a case before the Court of the United Kingdom claiming damage to the company’s commercial interests due to the publications by John Helmer posted on the PolishedPrices website. The Russian diamond mining company has already engaged […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A new ratings report by Fitch has declared Alrosa, the state-owned Russian diamond miner, to be twice as profitable — as measured by Ebitda margin — than global leader, De Beers. Alrosa doesn’t issue production figures for its mines by carat, but claims a 25% share of global diamond mine […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow There wasn’t much that the two Steptoes could ever agree on in the near-50 year old English comedy series about the scrap business — except that they would have sold out, if anyone was buying. There is nothing at all comical about the Rashnikov family. But now brother Victor has […]