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By John Helmer in Moscow Another Xmas mystery at Oxus – CEO leaves, unlocks value. The idea that Santa Claus brings presents to those who deserve them comes from the original St. Nicholas, a bishop of the Byzantine era. He was famous for his gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three miserable daughters [...]

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Many things can make a person greater than he or she really is, except for time. Time activates the bacteria that strip the flesh off the bones, until only a forensic pathologist can detect the tiny signs of individuality; and even they add up to nothing more than a catalogue of pain and death. Time [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Despite several rebuffs this year already, and problems faced by other non-Russian putative investors into the country’s steel sector, ArcelorMittal tries to set up new steel mill near Moscow. For the great Anglo-Indian families — I mean, wealthy Indians who live in London — it is galling to observe the [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russian PGM sales controller complains market reaction isn’t cricket. A one-line decree, issued by Russian Prime Minister Victor Zubkov, has stumped Russia’s platinum producer, Norilsk Nickel; the state agency for export sales of platinum, Almazjuvelirexport; and the government body in charge of issuing export licences, the Ministry for Economic Development [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow London market plays Scrooge as RAB sells Oxus Gold for 100% premium. The streets of all the Christian cities of the world are filled at this time of year with buskers singing carols, holding out hands or buckets to receive offerings of money for the less fortunate in this world. [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The casebook of the great modern neurologist, Oliver Sacks, contains the extraordinary case of Dr Tony Cicoria, who was struck by a bolt of lightning, and left for the rest of his life with an insatiable desire for classical music. Uncontrollably, he heard a piano playing in his head, and [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Ivanov tries a second board meeting to push through mine licence and share transfer. In Russian villages, they say the law is like a sleigh. A clever man can steer it either way. If the villagers knew about share emissions, their suspicion would be the same. On December 18, the [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The war over Norilsk Nickel’s shares to trigger owners’ battle on Friday. “Let the man who seeks revenge,” the old Chinese proverb warns, “remember to dig two graves.” For months now, Russia’s most valuable mining asset, Norilsk Nickel, has been the object of a bitter personal war between the two [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Putin’s endorsement of Medvedev, and vice versa, leaves mining policy issues up in the air. President Vladimir Putin did his best to make the selection of Dmitry Medvedev, 42, his former chief of staff and St. Petersburg lawyer, as natural an endorsement as he could of the capabilities of a [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Silvinit, until now a second string potash producer, challenges Uralkali, with state help. Until recently, Silvinit, a major Russian potash miner, appeared to be playing second-fiddle to its larger, and financially more powerful mining neighbour in the Urals, Uralkali. But in the hungry Russian resource market, with potash’s accelerating value [...]