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By John Helmer in Moscow A pledge to privatize Alrosa in an initial public offering (IPO) within 18 months, reported to have come from Alrosa chief executive Sergei Vybornov this week in Japan, has run into scepticism and cautions from diamond sector officials in Moscow. According to a Russian news agency report, Vybornov told a [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow As Chelyabinsk Zinc issues new shares, is the market ready for a pick-me-up? Chelyabinsk Zinc, Russia’s dominant zinc miner and refiner, is to issue 49 million new shares this week to existing shareholders, at par value of 1 rouble (4 US cents). The company, known as Chelzinc for short (CZP [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow For mining and metals, Russia’s new cabinet is the same as the old one — business as usual In less than a week, the bright promise of the Zubkov presidency of Russia has evaporated, and amid a bad case of election nerves inside the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin himself has [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russian potash leader to sell London IPO on link to booming mineral price. Uralkali, Russia’s leading potash producer, announced this morning that it intends to issue an initial placement offering (IPO) in the London market, with pricing to be fixed in October, according to market sources. The company’s principal shareholder [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Scoop! Rabbit overtaken by tortoise. The news that Oleg Deripaska – zaitschik, “rabbit”, as he was known when younger – has been overtaken, and overturned, by JP Morgan Cazenove and Goldman Sachs, was front-page on Friday. In a carefully worded despatch, the Financial Times claimed the world’s largest aluminium industry [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Contest for Tajik gold licenses warms up President Rahmon, as Chinese miners fuel the bidding. A group of Tajik men were recently taken by surprise, in the woods outside Moscow, when they spotted an animal they had never seen before. “Small bear!” “Small bear!” they shouted in excitement to a [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russia’s new prime minister will reprice asset value in Russian mining, gold, and energy. Madame de Montespan, the only one of French King Louis XIV’s mistresses to combine beauty and brains, used to say: “secrets add to the taste of things.” Intelligence officers don’t have to be either beautiful or [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russia’s new Prime Minister Victor Zubkov has moved from obscurity to presidential status in half a day, showing character not seen in Moscow for 25 years. The man, whose name in Russian means “tooth”, shows he has mettle and bite – confidence in himself, pride in what he has done, [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Saddleback Gold recruits General Sir Mike Jackson in an attempt to do battle for the Tajikistan gold sector. It has been 140 years since last two English adventurers walked into Tajikistan with a sales pitch of commercial goods and guns, and with the barely concealed intention to beat the Russians. [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The break-up of the partnership controlling Norilsk Nickel and Polyus Gold grows more interesting by the day. A half-century ago, hardboiled US city cops used to prosecute the so-called badger game. At its origin, this involved a woman luring a man into a compromising position, only to be caught in [...]