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By John Helmer in Moscow In a report issued this week, Troika Dialog, a Moscow investment bank, warns that a combination of operating financial risks, debt problems, and new coalmine costs will impact negatively on Mechel, the fifth-ranked Russian steelmaker and leading coking-coal producer. The report comes after last week’s trading on the Moscow stock [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Russia’s leading mining company, and one of the leading suppliers of nickel to China’s stainless steelmills, may be facing further revenue and profit cuts in 2009, as the international nickel price continues to fall, and inventories of the metal grow. However, political intervention by the Kremlin has ended a hostile [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Before the global collapse of mine commodities and mining equities in the autumn of 2008, Mineweb, the Johannesburg-based mining publication, suffered a meltdown in asset valuation. Then, in July 2008, it incurred the worst cash loss in the publication’s history. The publisher and editor-in-chief of Mineweb is Alec Hogg. With [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A Russian government effort to end special lobbying by major company shareholders, chief executives, sector cabinet ministers, and regional governors has either just ended; or else it has failed, because there isn’t enough government cash or credit for to satisfy everyone, and the political cost of saying no to some [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in Moscow this week has agreed on an organizational charter and a new headquarters, but stopped short of including all the gas exporting majors, and did not attempt to introduce a scheme for price controls for gas exports. But there was [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The sudden death, announced Tuesday, of Guinea’s 25-year president, Lansana Conte, threatens to uproot United Company Rusal from its lucrative bauxite mining concessions in the west African republic of Guinea. The bauxite reserves, whiuch Rusal controls, are among the largest and most valuable in the world, and are vital to [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Herbert Smith is the large London-based law firm whose role in representing the Tajikistan Aluminium Company (Talco) has helped set one of the highest fee-charging cases in the UK High Court in recent history. The law firm also helped itself to some of the judge’s personal notes and papers in [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Oleg Mitvol, Russia’s well-known mining regulator and gadfly to AIM-listed stock values, has filed a half-dozen lawsuits in Moscow, challenging the terms of his removal from his functions. And he appears to have Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on his side. The legal and political moves follow months of effort [...]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Mechel, the fifth-ranked Russian steelmaker and leading coal miner, lost 2.6% from its New York-listed share price as the market failed to react positively to this week’s company’s release of nine-month financial results. The Mechel group’s market capitalization is currently $2 billion. It was twelve times larger, $24.4 billion, when [...]