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11 Aug, 2007 04:53

Russia’s Far East offers new business opportunities

Fuelled by a booming mining industry Russia's Far East is attracting people back to the region. After years of decline new jobs and state investment are making this part of the country more attractive to companies.

Chukotka is Russia's most eastern region bordering America's Alaska. It has an area larger than France and a population of just over 50,000 people. Gold mining makes up a major part of the region’s economy.

And with the price of gold on the world market steadily rising over the last 6 years – production of the precious metal is becoming a more and more attractive business.

And efficiency is getting a top priority.

“According to technology we must extract 94% of metal from the ore. Currently our output is at level of 95-97%,” says Victor Zinchenko, Chief Foreman at a gold factory.

Valunisty deposit seems to have a bright future. The gold yield is currently 8 grams of gold per ton of ore, but this could increase to 50 when the mine gets deeper.

“We’ve only developed one third of it. The wings of the gold deposit also have solid potential,” notes Valery Yashkevich, Valunisty mine chief geologist.

The extreme climate and poor infrastructure does make extracting the gold more difficult.  But larger companies are successful in developing new mines, creating new workplaces and contributing to the economy boom on the Russian Far East.