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World

  • Some recent articles in the media gave the impression that the central bank of Russia was selling gold.  But what was the real story?  Is Russia selling its gold from its foreign exchange reserves? If so, it is flying in the face of its government and the policy of its central bank.

  •       Russian metals firms seeking to increase exports to China and other Asian buyers face an uphill struggle as they grapple with infrastructure constraints on Soviet-era rail lines in Siberia and the Far East. Russia’s two main rail lines in the region, the Trans-Siberian and the Baikal Amur Mainline (BAM) are becoming overburdened as freight shipments increase.

  • Prof. Punsalmaa Ochirbat, a mining engineer, traces a brief history of Mongolia-China cooperation in the mineral sector.

            As far as the mineral resources sector is concerned, cooperation between Mongolia and China began only in the last decade of the 20th century. Following transition to a market economy in the 1990s, Mongolia opened its doors to cooperation with many more foreign countries than earlier, China being a major one among them.

  • China’s exports of rare earth metals burst through the USD100,000-per-tonne mark for the first time in February, up almost ninefold from a year before, while the volume of trade stayed far below historical averages. China’s squeeze on rare earths, which are used in a wide range of hardware including precision-guided weapons, hybrid car batteries and iPads, has forced prices up dramatically since July last year, when each tonne fetched a mere USD14,405 on average.

  • Russian gold firms produced 201.3 tonnes of gold last year, 1.4 percent less than in 2009, but production should rebound to 205-207 tonnes this year, the Gold Industrialists’ Union industry lobby has said. Mined output declined 1.7 percent year on year to 175.2 tonnes.

  • Russia’s top gold miner, Polyus Gold has said it will return KazakhGold’s assets to its former owners in exchange for about $509 million, while retaining the Kazakh miner’s London listing.

  • The Regional Development and Reform Commission has scheduled a bunch of new coal projects with coal output capacity totaling 53 million tonnes to be launched in Inner  Mongolia, one of China’s major coal production bases, in 2011.

  • Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky is not a businessman anymore. Once the most famous of the Russian oligarchs, he ran Yukos Oil, which under his leadership became the best-run, fastest-growing, most transparent company in the country — a gleaming symbol of hope for Russian industry. Mr. Khodorkovsky, however, has spent the last seven years in prison, much of that time in Siberia.

  • Dear Uncle Sam,
    My mother told me to send thank-you notes promptly. I’ve been remiss.
    Let me remind you why I’m writing. Just over two years ago, in September 2008, our country faced an economic meltdown. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the pillars that supported our mortgage system, had been forced into conservatorship. Several of our largest commercial banks were teetering. One of Wall Street’s giant investment banks had gone bankrupt, and the remaining three were poised to follow. A.I.G., the world’s most famous insurer, was at death’s door.

  • Aluminum Corp of China (Chinalco), the country’s top aluminium producer which is expanding to other metals, will take a majority stake in Jiangxi Rare Earth and Rare Metals Tungsten Group. State-owned Chinalco, keen to invest in rare earth, would use not less than $1.5 billion to help the Jiangxi firm develop rare earth resource in the next three to five years. The Jiangxi firm is one of China’s major tungsten producers and China is the world’s biggest supplier of tungsten and rare earth. Chinalco is the parent of Chalco.

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Do you agree with increasing state participation in the Draft New Mining Law?
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