Member of the Committee on International Affairs Elena Strokova:
“Today, the bill on ratification of the agreement on the transfer of shares of the Klyuchevskoye gold deposit, belonging to a very large one, was considered by the Chinese company. The agreement caused a lot of controversy in the State Duma. Deputies of the LDPR faction did not support this ratification as potentially dangerous for the strategic interests of the Russian Federation.
The explored gold reserves in the deposit are 48.6 tons, and also the previously estimated 27.2 tons. In addition, it is a deposit of rare earth metals. These volumes can be correlated with the annual gold production in Russia, which amounted to 253.9 tons in 2017. China is the world monopoly in the extraction of rare earth metals and the leader in gold mining, but production in its territory in 2017 decreased significantly and amounted to 369.2 tons (in 2016 this figure was 455 tons). The strategic step associated with the transition of China to gold mining in the territory of other states and the suspension of pumping out its own resources is fully justified from the point of view of China’s interests. But compliance with the interests of the Russian Federation in this situation raises serious doubts.
Today, Russian mining companies do not work at this field due to underdevelopment of relevant technologies. This problem should push us to modernize gold mining technologies, rather than letting pumping non-renewable resources, gold and rare earth metals of the country to foreign companies.”