Russia drafts a bill to woo foreign investors

The Russian ministry of natural resources has formed a new bill that will reduce mining regulations, such as maximum allowed tonnage, in an attempt to woo foreign investors and bring the country's minerals exploration up to par with nations such as Australia, Canada and the United States.

Russian gold reserves represent roughly 10% of the world's total supply; however, foreign companies are leery to move into a country that regulates gold reserves over 50 tonnes to be that of 'federal significance'.

As Reuters reported, "the draft bill would allow foreign-owned businesses to mine deposits of up to 250 tonnes (about 8 million troy ounces) of gold, five times the existing cap of 50 tonnes set in 2008, without facing additional regulation from the state, the documents showed."

Being a giant country with giant reserves of gold, diamond and PGMs, the Russian government, under advisory from newly appointed Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy, would like to bask in the wealth of foreign capital.

In speaking to Reuters, Lou Naumovski, head of Kinross Gold's Moscow office, said,

"The fact that no government approval would be required should give more comfort to exploration companies to start exploring again. The other important measure is the suggestion that a discoverer of a strategic deposit could proceed to mine development without the threat that the government could withdraw the licence with only modest compensation."