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MOSCOW – A press statement this week from the southeastern Siberian town of Irkutsk revived hopes that Russia’s El Dorado, and one of the world’s largest unmined gold deposits, may be about to go on the market. Sukhoi Log (“Dry Gulch”in Russian), according to Nikolai Suslov, deputy head of the Irkutsk region agency for natural [...]

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MOSCOW – The Armenian government ordered prosecutors last week to put a stop to an attempt by the Vedanta group in London to auction off its rights to the Zod gold mine to the highest bidder. Two weeks ago, following six months of investigation, the Armenian prosecutor’s office in Yerevan went to court on behalf [...]

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MOSCOW – One of the oldest friends of Rusal owner, Oleg Deripaska, still calls him by the nickname, zaichik; that’s Russian for hare. The surname of Alexander Bulygin, Rusal’s chief executive, suggests the Russian for a cobble-stone (bulizhnik), but nobody calls him that for short. The ancient fabulist Aesop didn’t think well of either hares [...]

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MOSCOW – A man without enough zinc is likely to suffer from a loss of taste, smell, hair, and sexual arousal. It’s the zinc in oysters that is one reason, at least, for their popular association with libido. For miners of the bluish-white metal, however, global insufficiency is proving to be very good for business. [...]

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MOSCOW – Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant to Boston, gave his name to a scheme in which he promised a 50% return to investors within 45 days of their giving him money; or double their money within 90 days. About 40,000 people invested $15 million in 1920 dollars; today that would sum to $150 million. [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Insomniacs count sheep to get off to sleep, but after that, dreams come plentiful and cheap. When Oleg Deripaska lays his head on the pillow these summer evenings, wishful thinking appears to have led him to a colossal miscalculation. Even worse, Deripaska appears to have been dozing, when he made [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Gold raiders may be pushing gold mining asset holders on to the defensive in Russian Fareast When Winston Churchill tried to express his ignorance of how Russians conduct their affairs, he famously referred to bulldogs fighting under a rug. These days, in the Russian gold mining sector, the bulldogs are [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Talk of oil supply crunch intensifies price threat as Russian output tips and additional export markets beckon. Russian oil producers have been losing oil output at Russia’s onshore fields since February of this year, and a combination of tax, investment, and technical factors has led to a forecast of “dire [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russian aluminium giant, Rusal has held a secret briefing at London’s Skinners’ Hall for its London IPO investors . When Gioacchino Rossini, the 19th century opera composer, had grown famous and rich, he was told that a group of his admirers were collecting the equivalent of $50,000 to erect a [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Alrosa is retrieving its diamond market positions after initial misstatements by new CEO Alrosa, the Russian diamond miner with the largest share of the global rough diamonds market after De Beers, is reconsidering its international market strategy, and correcting several misstatements by its newly appointed chief executive, Sergei Vybornov. Veteran [...]