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By John Helmer in Moscow Nigeria’s President Yar’Adua promises US to reopen Rusal smelter deal. Oleg Deripaska, the Russian oligarch who controls UC Rusal, the world’s second largest producer of aluminium, is in hot water in Nigeria, and in Washington, DC, as US companies have persuaded the Bush Administration to back them in a bid [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Adam Smith hides his talent — making Tajik mining’s sow’s ear into a silk purse. A European Commission (EC) contract to promote foreign mining investment in Tajikistan collapsed this month into denials and mystification, as the deputy head of the Tajikistan government’s committee on foreign investment claims he has never [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russian oligarchs use the media for pressure on price and financing terms for change of ownership at Norilsk Nickel. The Arab bedouin had a term for it – the jackals’ wedding. That’s a marriage of convenience between angry dogs, who couple for a single night, and then bite each other, [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The apparent owner and board chairman of the Zasyadko mine has been targeted for blame in Ukraine’s worst mine explosion by surviving miners. Miners who survived the catastrophic methane explosion at the Zasyadko mine in the Ukraine on Sunday say that the mine’s chairman and apparent proprietor, Yefim Zvagilsky, is [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Suddenly this month, Hydro Aluminum, the state-led metal producer of Norway, has been called to public account by senior members of the Norwegian Parliament; by independent Norwegian experts; and by Norway’s trade and foreign ministers over the terms of alumina and aluminum contracts the company signed last December with the [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow De Beers, NM Rothschild hold secret talks which could result in the release of Russian diamond asset How long must the clock tick before disclosure delayed turns into news concealed, and insider trading? Speculators on the share value of Toronto-listed Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC) — ticker AAD — thought they [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russian diamond cutters face shutdown of operations or domestic supplies if VAT tax waiver is abolished on January 1. Alrosa, Russia’s dominant supplier of rough, has sent a notice to domestic diamond cutters, warning that from January 1, it will add 18% value-added tax (VAT) to its rough diamond pricing. [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Suddenly this month, Hydro Aluminium, the state-led metal producer of Norway, has been called to public account by senior members of the Norwegian parliament; by independent Norwegian experts; and by Norway’s Trade and Foreign Ministers over the terms of alumina and aluminium contracts it signed last December with the Tajikistan [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Israelis claim Russian identity to announce Angolan diamond mine venture. That Russian mining companies have deep pockets and Kremlin clout is a handle that has been tried on South African gold bugs and the Canadian venture investor market with modest and shortlived effect. But it is unheard-of for a group [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow BlackRock pays bargain-basement price for Russian gold miner after IPO fails. The controversial US equity fund manager BlackRock, part-owned by Merrill Lynch, has failed in a bid to keep secret two transactions in which the fund appears to have acquired 34% of the shares of a small Russian gold miner, [...]