Verkhoyank-Chukotka province a raw materials base for
gold over 4,200 tons produced tin, tungsten, silver, antimony, diverse other metals, and mercury-largest working world deposit 
Okhotsk-Chukotka province a raw materials base for silver over 2,000 tons produced
gold over 100 tons produced
copper, molybdenum, other metals.

The Union of Russian Gold Prospectors president noted Russia is capable of doubling its gold production, conditional on bringing several major gold deposits on stream: Sukhoy Log in  Irkutsk region, Mayskoye Chukotka region and Neryungri in the Yakutia. 9 March 2001

Polyus of Krasnoyarsk region The largest gold producer in Russia 2001 produced 16 metric tons; aims to lift production to 25 metric tons.

The second  largest gold producer in Russia for 2001 was Omolon of Magadan, which operates the Kubaka mine. it produced 13.5 metric tons of gold. The majority shareholder of Omolon is Kinross of Canada. In recent weeks, Russian investors in Omolon have gone to court claiming Kinross has defaulted on more than $50 million in liabilities and obligations. A St. Petersburg court ruled Kinross’ shareholding in the project is invalid, while other participants in the project have charged Kinross with abandoning the mine operation, and accelerating profit-taking from Omolon’s revenue stream. Kinross officials claim they have been trying to resolve the dispute for months without result. Russian sources say Kinross is intentionally delaying negotiations while speeding up its exit from the mine.

"The State of Russia. Natural Resources.", 2001, ASMO-press
Mayskoye Mayskoye golden ore deposit RUSSIA GOLD-MINING IN THE RFE
Chukotka Annual gold production growth over 1 ton in 2000 Kubaka Magadan mine -  Omolon Gold Mining Company
Gold mining is a leading industry and is centered in Bilibinsky, Smidtovsky, and Chaunsky districts. In 1994, Chukotka produced approximately 10 tons of gold. 
Fish products and reindeer meat represent the food industry.
The steel and metal industry is represented by non-ferrous metallurgy (71percent of total industrial output). 
Power and energy industry (19 percent) is based mainly on Bilibino atomic power plant and the Chaun thermal power plant.  floating atomic power  is being constructed move to Pevek and expects to make energy less expensive. 
Tin is mined in the Chaunsky and Iultinsky districts.  The fuel industry holds 3 % - coal mining (Anadyr). 
Kubaka mine in Magadan owned by the Omolon Gold Mining Company

John Ivany, Executive Vice President, Kinross Gold 
Thank you, Michael.  Mr. Minister, ladies and gentlemen.  It is a pleasure for me to be able to talk about Kinross' experiences in Russia.  What I would like to do is outline how we inherited the ownership of our shares in the Omolon Gold Mining Company.

The Kubaka mine the largest single gold producer in Russia.
Kubaka was acquired by Omolon in the early 1990s when Cyprus Amax, a large U.S. based copper company, was looking in the far east of Russia for copper prospects.  They did not acquire any copper prospects but, in the course of that search, they came across the fact that the Kubaka deposit was going to be tendered, and they formed the Omolon company with a group of Magadan-based shareholders and were successful in tendering for Kubaka.

The mine was built in late 1996 - early 1997, over the winter season.  In May of 1997, Cyprus sold its interest to Amax that was a subsidiary of Cyprus, a publicly traded U.S. gold company.  The Kubaka mine went into production on June 1, 1997, and in June of 1998, Kinross and Amax merged with Kinross as the continuing operating company. As you can see, the Kinross management was not responsible for the investment decision nor was it responsible for the construction, but we have been operating the mine for the last two years. 

The mine is truly a magnificent mine.
It is located in Magadan, a remote region in the far east of Russia.  Let me review for you some of the highlights of last year's operation.  We had no lost-time accidents at the mine.  We had no environmental infractions. 
We produced under 500 000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US$ 142 an ounce. 
Total capital spending was only US$ 600 000, and mill throughput was 797 000 tonnes or 2185 tonnes a day.  The grade was 20.2 grams per tonne, with 22.2 grams of silver per tonne.  Recoveries averaged 98% for gold, 84% for silver. 
Milling costs averaged US$ 15 per tonne.
9.5 million tonnes of ore and waste were mined during the year.  The average mining cost per tonne of material moved was US$ 1.29. We managed to achieve the completion test in our loan agreements, and the loan went non-recourse to Kinross during the course of the year. 

What we have been focusing on as the main concern for Kubaka for the past year, and for the ongoing years, is a vigorous exploration program in the region to find additional reserves. 

Because, as I will point out to you, in spite of all the positives of this mine, its short life creates most of the problems. What I was asked to do was to review with you our impressions and our experiences as an operator of this mine.  The tendency at sessions such as this is to dwell on negatives and ignore the positives.  Mr. Minister, I would like to assure you that there are several positives our operations in Russia, and I would like to start by enumerating some of those.

The ore body is a fine ore body with high grades, and it is amenable to open pit mining methods. 
It was well delineated long before Cyprus, Amax or Kinross ever became involved, and the in delineating that ore body was first-class and beyond reproach.  That took most of the technical risk out of the decision to put the ore-body into production.  We have a high caliber work force at Kubaka, with a level of education by far exceeding the level of education in any of the work forces at any of our operations around the world.  I think over 30% of the employees at Kubaka have post-secondary education, and all of them are high school graduates and literate.  We managed to be very productive with that work force, and that is one of the great assets of the Omolon Gold Mining Company. 

In spite of what you hear about the myriad of bureaucracy, conflicting laws and almost pedantic application of those regulations and laws, in those few instances where we have had to permits, then licenses, or do similar things to keep the operation going smoothly and accommodate operational changes, our experience has been that we have actually been able to get the attention of senior officials and achieve those permits quicker than we could in a North American context. 
The ruble devaluation, although crippling to most of Russia, allowed us to maintain a very low cost structure at Kubaka.  The last positive I would like to mention is that we have avoided many of the well-known negatives.  We have never been extorted, nor asked for a bribe.  We have never had a dispute an attempt to steal our license, and we have been fortunate that our partners have been and good people to deal with.  Our partners, largely, were decimated by the financial crisis in Russia and several of them, in fact, are bankrupt.  The main partner, Geometall, is represented here by Mr. Rosenblum, who is well known in the mining business in Magadan.  He, up until recently, was Chairman of the Mining Company, and he has been very helpful in guiding us through the methods of doing business in Russia. 

Difficulties we encountered at Kubaka are not necessarily all unique to Russia.  The remote, far northern location presents the same problems that one would encounter in Northern Canada, and we deal with the problems much the same as we would in Canada, the difference because supporting infrastructure in Canada is more advanced, compared to what you would find in Magadan.  Magadan is a very poor region.  It needs development, it needs diversity in its economy and, until that happens, people will suffer from a poor infrastructure in that part of the country. 

What I would like to dwell on this morning in terms of negatives, if you will, are three areas which our experience has led us to believe to be the key in encouraging future investment in the country.  These are in no particular order, but I would first like to talk about the way, under Russian regulations, that a gold producer has to deal with its product.  This creates tremendous difficulties with regards to the initial investment decision.  Kubaka was a very high capital-cost project for such a relatively small operation.  Initial capital costs were about US$ 240 million and, when we took over in 1998, we found there was a deficiency of working capital.  We had inject another US$ 20 million of working capital, so I think the real capital costs were more in the order of US$ 260 million. 

The investment was achieved, planned, and based on the expectation gold span prices would be US$ 375 per ounce and rising.  We all know that that was a very optimistic view of where the gold market was going. 
As part of the licensing process, Omolon was required to first offer its product to Roskomdragmet, which was the agency of the federal government responsible for purchasing precious metals and gems.  It was agreed that, if Roskomdragmet was unable to purchase the product, then the producer was going to get a license to export doré, which would enable him to take the doré abroad, refine it abroad where the refining costs are significantly cheaper than in Russia, and sell the product abroad.  Unfortunately, the protocol allowing the latter was never translated into laws by changing the necessary customs regulation and granting the necessary permits so that, in June of 1998, when we arrived on the scene, Gohkran, which had then succeeded Roskomdragmet as the purchaser of precious metals, had not been funded by the federal government.  Therefore, it was not purchasing gold.  We were unable to export gold because we had no export license, and we had 150 000 ounces of gold backed up in the gold room at the mine site, largely explaining the deficiency in working capital at the operation. 

Therefore, we set out, as our first priority, to find out how we could deal with this product.

We ourselves in the middle of a bit of a struggle internally in Russia with regard to who would get export licenses, if anybody would get export licenses. 
The banking community had set itself up against the producing community, and the banking community won.  So now that we are a producer, we have this gold in inventory, we have no export license, we are forced to deal with a small number of Russian banks, who in June of 1998 were sitting on the cusp of a default which came to fruition in August. 

So we not only had to go through hoops to export our gold span, we also had to assume some risks associated with those very weak banks, as it turned out.  The upshot of this was that, because you did not have the freedom to deal with your product, you could not put a hedge position into place. 

There was no mechanism to finance Kubaka with a gold loan, and so owners were totally exposed to the falling gold span price.  That is the single biggest reason that Kubaka overall as a project will have an inadequate return to its shareholders.  Had companies been able to secure a price anywhere near the price that was existent at the time the investment decision was made, it would have been quite a different story for the profitability of this project.

I encourage you, Mr. Minister, to review the necessary changes to enable producing companies to protect themselves by either hedging or entering into gold span loans with regard to new projects. 

The second area that we think is critical, and needs review, is the overall taxation burden placed on Russian operations.  We pay approximately 30% of our revenues in taxes and most of taxes (we pay some thirty odd different taxes) all but very few of them are revenue-based taxes
Therefore, in a falling gold price environment where margins are being squeezed, the taxes are becoming an increasingly larger percentage of your costs.  In any North American accounting of profits, we pay far in excess of 100% as a tax rate based on profits

One of the encouraging events was in the last month.
Minister Livshits was in Toronto.  I had an opportunity to meet with him.  We had a very constructive meeting and he indicated government is fully aware that this tax burden is a disincentive to investment in Russia, and he indicated that... in fact, he encouraged us to enter into a dialogue to try and ameliorate the tax burden. 

The last area is more general in nature, is structural to the economic and political overview of Russia, and will be dealt with in detail by the likes of Mr. Brewer.  I would just like to point out that, as a company operating in Russia, the effects of the uncertainties, economic and political, are to dramatically increase costs and risks.  We pay on our loans, principally with the EBRD and with OPIC (U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation) LIBOR plus 6 1/2%, which is more than we would pay in almost any other jurisdiction. That is strictly because of their view of the political risks in Russia. 

I heard your comments, and I agree that Russia understands this and is making moves to put lenders at ease.
I would encourage you to stay the path in those reforms because, otherwise, it is not only the high interest rates you pay, it is the few lenders that are available you, so that all of the terms of your loan agreement become very onerous because there is competition amongst lenders. 

The second point is, with an uncertain economic environment, you have a very weak banking system internally in Russia, and the availability of working capital to suppliers, to operations such as ourselves, is difficult.  As a result, we made great strides procuring goods and services within Russia, but we are dealing with very financially weak suppliers and we have to, in order to keep them afloat, make large advance payments to them. 

The Risks, although we have not suffered a loss on account of making those advance payments, are always present, and it would be overly optimistic to think we are never going to suffer one of those losses. 

So, on balance, had we had a gold price anywhere near what had been anticipated when Kubaka was built, our overall experience in Russia would have been very good.  The combinations of a gold price, and some unique high costs associated with the matters I have talked about, meant return to shareholders on Kubaka is inadequate.  However we are, as I said, interested in continuing with the assets we have in Russia, the workforce, the equipment to develop other projects in that part of the country.  Moreover, we are encouraged to hear your remarks this morning.
Thank you.
September 2001 By Yana Tselikova, U.S. Commercial Service, Vladivostok, Russia



After almost a decade of depression, the gold-mining industry in Russia has started to recover and develop. Two-thirds of Russian gold mining is located in Eastern Siberia and The Russian Far East (RFE). The recent statistics show a steady growth in gold production in the RFE. Considerable wear-and-tear of existing equipment and the necessity of introducing new technologies, combined with better access to financial resources provide improved business opportunities to U.S. exporters of mining machinery. This report provides an overview of the gold-mining industry in the RFE, and an insight into prospects for U.S. businesses.


History: Gold-mining has always been one of the traditional and leading sectors in the Russian Far East (RFE) economy. In Soviet times, the gold-mining industry was a total government monopoly, although in the 1970s the first non-government enterprises (the so-called artels) started to appear. But the government still was strictly regulating the extraction, production, and sale of precious metals.

Before Russia started to go through reforms in the 1990s, the largest gold-mining enterprise in the RFE was SeveroVostokZoloto which covered Kolyma (Magadan), Chukotka, and Kamchatka, and produced up to 50 tons annually. Yakutzoloto from Sakha (Yakutiya) manufactured up to 30 tons per year, Amurzoloto (Amur Oblast) - 10-12 tons and Primorzoloto (Primorskiy and Kahabrovskiy Krais, and Sakhalin) - 8-10 tons.

Outdated labor-consuming technologies and equipment, low capital investments, turmoil in the Russian economy, and drop in the gold prices on the world's market nearly resulted in the industry's collapse in the mid 1990s.

The reserves of gold in Western Russia are almost exhausted. But in Eastern Russia (Eastern Siberia and the RFE) there are at least 5 deposits with estimated reserves of over 300 tons, as well as a number of 100-300 ton deposits.

After Russia began shifting to a market economy and the government stopped supporting the gold-mining industry, most of the companies were experiencing considerable financial constraints during 1991-1997. Besides, the seasonal nature of gold production made it very challenging to find financial resources in advance to prepare for the mining season. Banks were very reluctant to provide loans and credit lines, and the interest rates were outrageous – 40-45% in hard currency. The government support through Komdragmet (The State Committee for Precious Stones) was more nominal than practical. Most of the gold-miners found themselves in financial deadlock - - they kept on borrowing money to pay back loans and interest.

Current Situation

The situation in the industry improved in 1998. Like many other export-oriented industries, gold mining has benefited from Russia's August 1998 financial crisis. The ruble devaluation and resulting decreased production costs, improved the development of the RFE's gold-mining industry. Most of the loans taken by gold-miners were in rubles, so with the ruble's collapse and with the world's market prices starting to stabilize, the gold-mining companies were able to pay them back very easily. As a result, the profitability of the gold-mining industry and its attractiveness for the investors grew significantly by the end of 1998.

Also in March 1998 the Russian government adopted a Federal Law "On Precious Metals and Gemstones", and in December 1998 Decree #1419 was issued. These new regulations released the government's strict control over the gold industry and gold exports. Commercial banks started to export Russian gold. For the first time in the history of modern Russia, its gold market became a part of the global market. Another positive factor was that gold prices on the world market started to stabilize and increase after a two-decade period of decreases (in 1998 the lowest price for 20 years was registered).

Extraction of placer gold (which is a seasonal process) always significantly prevailed over mining of ore gold. Over the last few years, however, the structure of the gold-mining industry has been changing, and has started to shift from extraction of placer gold to lode gold mining. Lode gold mining is much more attractive to investors because it is not seasonal and is economically more effective.

Investors and banks started to more extensively finance gold-mining projects and companies. Sberbank became an absolute leader in providing loans and credit lines to gold-miners. Together with Vneshtorgbank it accounts for almost 50% of commercial loans given to the domestic gold-miners. Among other banks, the most active were Moscow-based Alfa-Bank, MDM, Zenit, NOMOS-Bank and Menatep, as well as regional and local banks - - Dalkombank, Regiobank, Neryungri Bank, and Kolyma-Bank. In 2000 the average loan interest rate for gold-miners ranged from 15-22% in rubles, and 15-17% in hard currency. Some banks even provided 3-5-year credit lines.

There are some negative factors impeding development of Russia's gold industry. The gold-mining enterprises still lack sufficient capital to update equipment and technology as required.

The introduction of a 5% customs duty on gold exports in April 1999 disappointed the Russian gold-producers, as well as commercial banks involved in the gold exports. To get around this tax, the Russian gold is now being exported via "gray routes", i.e. through countries that are members of the customs union with Russia. The major route is through Belarus (according to the Russian State Customs Committee estimates, in the first half of 2001 96.5% of the total commercial banks' exports was made via this former Soviet Republic).

Although the current world trend in the gold-mining industry is the merging of smaller gold manufacturers into larger corporations, the rate of small companies and artels in Russia is still very high - - about 70% (although they produce only 11% of the total gold output). Such small entities fail to attract investments and are often unable to maintain financial sustainability. But there is already emerging an understanding in the industry of the necessity for amalgamation to better adapt to the existing situation. The latter requires decreasing production costs, introduction of new technologies, and attraction of domestic and foreign investments. Another reason for merging is the on-going shifting from the placer to lode gold production, which needs considerable initial capital investments.

Recent Gold Production Statistics
In 2000 Russia produced 143 tons of gold, 13.2% more than in 1999. In the first 5 months of 2001 (before the active season started) the growth was already 13.9% more than in the same period of 2000. 

In the RFE the most successful was Sakha Republic (Yakutiya), where gold production increased by 150%. One of the reasons for such impressive growth was the 1-ton "golden loan" given to Aldanzoloto by Komdragmet of the Sakha Republic (Committee of Precious Metals, a state agency), and used for purchasing new equipment. Other leading enterprises in Sakha are Bamskaya, Drazhnik, Zolotinka, Zapadnaya, Nirungan, Ingali, Poisk, Zoloto Yinykchana, and Zoloto Neryungri.

Annual gold production growth in Chukotka was over one ton in 2000.

Among the leaders are Ruda (35% growth in ore gold mining), Chukotka (300 kg increase), Arctica, Polyarnaya, and Shakhtyor. Severniye Rudniye Tekhnologii produced 600 kg versus 80 kg during the previous year.

According to the statistics of the Magadan Oblast Administration, the volume of gold produced in 2000 was 30 tons, which is 650-kg growth compared to 1999, and the highest results within the last 7 years. There is a slight shrinkage in gold production in 2001. 

Amur Oblast also increased gold production, which reached 11.86 tons in 2000. The best results were achieved by Solovyovskiy Priisk (1.8 tons), Maya, Vostok-1, Zeya, Rassvet, Dalnyaya, Khergu, and Petrovskoye. In the first 7 months of 2001 the region produced 5.18 tons (1.29 tons of lode gold, and 3.89 tons of placer gold). It is 7.4% more than in the same period of 2000. By the end of this year Amur Regions plans to mine about 13 tons.

The growth rate of the gold-mining industry in Khabarovskiy Krai increased 10 times, and was 35% (In 1999 it was 3.5%). In 2000 Kahabrovskiy Krai was in 6th place among the leading gold-mining regions of Russia, and produced 9.2 tons of gold. The projected growth in 2001 is 9%, and the territory plans to mine over 10 tons of gold. Such dramatic increase was the result of the growth of ore gold mining, which now prevails over placer gold extraction. The largest deposits of ore gold are Monogovershinnoye (mined by the company with the same name, which produced 3 tons in 2000), and Ryabinovoye (mined by Amur, which is also one of the largest Russian platinum producers). Other companies with growing production are Vostok, Sever, Zarya, Pribrezhnaya, and Ros-DV.

The results in Primorskiy Krai were much less impressive - - 460 kg. It was mainly because last year was the first for several start-up companies. But in 2001 some growth is expected. Nevada Manhattan, a U.S. license holder for mining Glukhoye lode has not started any site operations yet.


The JV Omolonskaya Zolotorudnaya Kompaniya, the second largest gold-mining company in Russia mines the Kubaka lode in Northeast Magadan. Initially the 50% share belonged to the US company Cyprus Amax, and another 50% was distributed between several local companies (Dukatskiy GOK, Magadanskaya Zolotoserebryannaya Kompaniya, Geometall, Elektrum, and the North-Evenk regional association of Evenk tribes). In 1996 Geometall and Elektrum merged into Geometall Plus, and their mutual share grew up to 28%. Later Cyprus Amax sold its share in the JV to the Canadian Kinross Gold Co., while 85.6% of Geometall Plus was acquired by another Canadian firm Western Pinnacle. Now it is a project with major Canadian participation. A total investment of $250 million resulted in extraction of over 50 tons of gold since 1997. In 2000 the company mined 13 tons of gold.

The Kuranakh gold deposit (about 300 tons) in Yakutiya was expected to be mined by Kuranakh Gold Mining Company - - a JV between the local Aldanzoloto, Sakhazoloto, and Canada's Echo Bay Mines. But now the US Newmont Gold is in the process of purchasing shares from Echo Bay Mines. The Kuranakh is included into the list of deposits that are to be mined under PSA, but the parties have not yet agreed about the terms and conditions (note: the PSA process can be very lengthy, and Echo Bay has been involved in this process for several years).

The Nezhdaninskoye lode was discovered in 1961 and is located 800 km to the east from Yakutsk (Sakha Republic/Yakutiya). Projected reserves are 95 million of ore (494 tons of gold with the content of 5.1 grams per 1 ton of ore). It is the second largest gold deposit in Russia. In 1996 the Irish Celtic Resources Holding PLC together with the Russian companies Finansovo-Promyshlennaya Kompaniya and Sakhazloto formed the JV Yuzhno-Verkhoyanskaya Mining Company. But the gold production can start only after the Russian Duma and the government adopts the PSA on this deposit. Without a PSA specifying favorable terms for foreign investors the low initial profitability and delayed returns on investments make this project unattractive.

The Pokrovskoye gold lode is one of the largest in the Amur Oblast. It is mined by Pokrovskiy Rudnik company, which became famous throughout Russia for its unique experience of year-round production by the method of glomeroblastic leaching, and mined 1.5 tons in 2000. This year the company started to build a new gold-extraction plant with annual production capacity of 4 tons. The company already has produced 1.23 tons of gold in 7 months of 2001. One of the largest deposits in the region deposit Bamskoye (over 150 tons of projected reserves) is being exploited by Apsakan company. In 1-2 years it plans to produce 2-3 tons annually.

The Mayskoye deposit in Chukotka (about 300 t of gold in reserves) has already passed three readings, but was not signed by the president because, according to his advisors, it must go through additional editing to better meet the existing legal requirements. The license belongs to the Fund of Chukotka's Development, Fund of the Development of the Chukotka's Economy, artel Chukotka, and Chaunskiy Mining-Geological Enterprise. If the PSA is adopted, several international investors are interested in participating in this project.

The Mnogovershinnoye lode is located in the north of Khabarovskiy Krai near the city of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur. Its reserves are 105 tons of gold with an average content of 9 grams per ton. Mnogovershinnoye is mined by the Mnogovershinnaya Company. It started development of the lode in 1999, and mined 3 tons of gold in 2000. The company plans to reach projected annual capacity of 5 tons in 2002.


The major share of local gold-mining equipment is outdated, with a high wear-and-tear rate. There is substantial demand for a broad range of machinery for mining both placer and lode gold, as well as ore-dressing and engineering equipment. Due to political, and then economic, reasons, U.S. equipment was rarely imported in the past. Both political and economic changes as well as growing gold production in the RFE present business opportunities for U.S. exporters of mining equipment.

Among the best sales prospects are: trucks, bulldozers, excavators, drilling machinery, ore-dressing equipment, ore-crushing/milling machinery, and ore-recovering equipment.

Further Assistance for U.S. Companies This information is being provided by the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service in Russia, which offers its services to U.S. companies wishing to sell U.S. products and services in Russia, including identifying distributors and arranging meetings with prospective buyers during business visits. Commercial Service Russia has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg. 

Contact: For further information you are welcome to contact the author of this report at CS Vladivostok: Yana Tselikova U.S. Commercial Service Vladivostok 32 Pushkinskaya Street Vladivostok, Russia, 690000 Tel.: (7-4232) 300-093 Fax: (7-4232) 300-092 Int'l Fax: (7-509) 851-1211 E-mail: Yana.Tselikova@mail.doc.gov or Vladivostok.office.box@mail.doc.gov www.cs.vladivostok.com

Companies may obtain information on the Russian market and general counseling on their approach without charge. Intensive individualized services are available through the following customized programs: This report is provided courtesy of the Business Information Service for the Newly Independent States (BISNIS)

IEC Mining Committee Mission Report - April 13 - 16, 1999
MARHOPE Systems Inc. 
41 Dana Cres., Thornhill, Ont. L4J 2R4, 
Canada Phone: (905)707-7615, Fax: (905)707-7686, 
From : B. Aryev, P.Eng., President

Chukotka - Moscow Representative Expecting inclusion of Mayskoye deposit in the PSA list in July.
Will be open for tender after that. Lack of legal framework and regulatory contradictions in mining sector.

Chukotka Region
Located on the northeastern tip of Russia and covering 737,700  square kilometers, Chukotka Region (District) is the closest Russian  territory to Alaska. Three seas surround the territory on three sides - the  East Siberian Sea, the Chuckchee Sea, and the Bering Sea. Chukotka  borders Yakutia in the southwest with Magadan Region and the Koryak  Autonomous District (Okrug) in the north and northeast. The Distcirt's  administrative center is Anadyr.

Half of Chukotka's territory lies above the Arctic Circle. The Region's climate is severe, with long cold winters and short summers. 

Chukotka is located in a permafrost area and is mostly covered by tundra. Due to a short growing season, almost all food must  be obtained externally. Local agriculture is focused on reindeer herding and fishing. Chukotka's main body of  water, the Anadyr River, flows into the Bering Sea.

The Region has no railroads. The majority of cargo is moved by road  with the rest (about 25%) shipped by ocean. Chukotka has two ports,  Anadyr and Pevek, located on the Bering and Siberian Seas respectively.  River traffic is negligible. Anadyr's airport is approved for international  service, dealing mostly with international charters.

Chukotka's population amounts to just 100,000 people, which makes  it the least populated region in the Russian Far East. Russians started  settling the area in the 20th century and presently constitute the  majority of the inhabitants - a situation typical for the Russian Far East.  Natives amount to just 17,000 people, representing the northern nomadic  tribes engaged mainly in reindeer herding. The largest cities are Anadyr,  Pevek and Bilibino.

The main industry in Chukotka is mining. In fact, the area was  settled and developed in the course of exploration and mining of its rich  mineral reserves. The territory produces substantial quantities of gold,  ranking the third after Magadan and Yakutia in gold output. Tin is also  mined in the area.

Chukotka is home to the only nuclear power station in the Russian  Far East installed in the city of Bilibino. It became an independent region of the Russian Federation  in 1992. Prior to this it was part of Magadan. Today the Region has its  own local parliament and government.

Mineral Potential
Chukotka demonstrates a huge mineral potential. Location of the  Region in conjunction of tectonic zones that are quite different in nature,  geological history, age, geological structure, paleovolcanic features, etc.  resulted in formation of numerous ore deposits of various mineral  commodities and geological types. Some of them either had exploration  or were preliminary evaluated and proved to be enormous in reserves of  gold, mercury and tin. Proper exploration of silver occurrences may result  in discovery of new deposit comparable with Dukat. At the same time  developed deposits constitute only 1% of evaluated mineral base of the  Region in gold, 0.9% in tin, 12.9% in tungsten, 16.8% in coal.
Tin and tungsten
Chukotka is one of the world's most important tin ore provinces. Metal  reserves identified there are sufficient to produce 10-15 kt Sn. The bulk  of reserves (80%) is confined to one super-large stockwork deposit.
Mining of gold from placer and hard-rock deposits is the principal sector  of industry in Chukotka. Early in 1970's the Region produced some 40t Au  a year (mainly from placers). At present three hard-rock gold deposits  are mined in the region. Some ten smaller but potentially economic  deposits demand more exploration works. However, presently, only the  Mayskoye deposit in Chaun district is ready to be developed. The deposit  is attributed to gold-sulfide formation and is super-large in reserves.

The Mayskoye golden ore deposit lies 280 kilometers south-east of Pevek. The exploration of the field has been completed. The ores are refractory and are represented by saturated sulfites and dynamometamorphism zones in rock mass of black shales. The average content of gold is 12 g/t. More than 70 percent of the gold is associated with pyrite and arsenopyrite. 
Gold-sulphide bodies, zones of veinlet-disseminated ores in black-shales formation (Sukhoy Log, Olympiada, Mayskoye Kumtor);

Gravity and floatation concentration is considered to be effective, but the extracted concentrate must be specially enriched. Chukotka administration has sent delegations to Canada, Australia and South Africa looking for technology for refractory ore processing. In January 1999, the Chukotka administration plans to announce a tender for supply of technology for gold ore processing in the Mayskoye deposit.

Chukotka territory covers the northern flank of the  Okhotsk-Chukotka volcanic belt. Geologically it is quite promising for  prospecting for silver-gold deposits similar in type to Dukat. General  geological settings show some major deposits of high-grade gold-silver  and essentially silver ores could be discovered in Chukotka.
Chukotka is the largest mercury province in the world. Explored reserves  of two explored deposits are sufficient to satisfy the world's demand in  mercury.
The Region is known to have some areas promising for prospecting of  porphyry copper. However, only one of them had exploration works that  resulted in discovery of economic deposit demonstrating significant  resources of copper, molybdenum, gold and platinum. Copper mining (the Peschanka copper field 150 kilometers south of Bilibino)

Other mineral resources
Other mineral resources in Chukotka are coal, oil and gas. Capacity  of two coal deposits under development enables to produce 1.3Mtpa with  coal reserves sufficient for 30 years of mining. The total reserves of five  coal deposits available reach 200Mt while 17% of the reserves are  convenient for open cast mining. The total recoverable oil and gas  resources in Chukotka are 107Mt and 328´109 m3. 

Current Weather In Anadyr

Chukotka Alaska Pet Res Strat Column 
Bering Sea Space Photo
Russia's OIL AND GAS BEARING BASINS Continental outskirts 1988
Anadyr Basin 1987 drilling
Sits On Riches Lives In Poverty 
 Oil and Gas Basins
Low-Porosity Triassic Reservoirs of Barents Sea
Environm against floating nuclear power 
 Oil and Gas Reserves Marketable
Oil and gas reserves of
 Oil-And-Gas Bearing Basins
Chukotka Auton Regn Overview 10 1998
Some Reserve Estimates
Western Pinacle Resources (Cyprus)
Tectonics of the Anadyr Basin
ms  Chukotka Prof  Konstantinovich 
Russia's OIL AND GAS BEARING BASINS Continental outskirts 1988
Siberian Oil Company (Sibneft)
Introducing Sibneft
Seeking a Positive Commitment
 Minerals May 28, 2001
Chukotka Regional Administration
Governor’s Office 20 Beringa Street
Anadyr, Chukotka, Russia 689000
Tel: 7-42722-24262, 22227
Fax: 7-42722-22466
Pet Pot Shallow-areas of Russian Arctic
Sibneft to develop three oil and gas blocks in Chukotka region
Pinacle Corporate Offices
Western Pinacle Resources (Cyprus)
WPN'se currently held via its 85.7% owned Russian subsidiaries - Geometall Plus, Geometall and Geometall Dukat (Geometall Group), leading mining companies in Magadan. Geometall Plus owns 24.97% of Russia's largest gold mine, Kubaka. Geometall holds prospective exploration licences: Chai Yuria and Orotukan; Exploration-Devlopment licence for Nyavlenga and 39.5% in Dvoinoye, a small sized hard-rock gold mine in Chukotka. Geometall also has an Alluvial Gold Mining Subsidiary - Placer Geometall developing a number of placer gold deposits in the Magadan Region.
Sibneft, Yukos form JV to study areas off Chukotka district 
By the OGJ Online Staff HOUSTON, Aug. 9

Russian companies Sibneft and Yukos agreed to jointly study exploration zones in the Chukotka and East Siberian seas off the autonomous Chukotka district.    The equal joint venture partners will process existing seismic data from the area. They intend to conduct further seismic studies and may later drill exploration wells.

Sibneft said it is drilling its first onshore exploration well in Chukotka from a site on Molchalivy Island; it is also preparing to develop the West Ozyornoye gas field. 

Sibneft also said the geological structure of the East Siberian Sea and Chukotka Sea basins is similar to that of Alaska's North Slope.

PEVEK The location place for NTPP primary unit is Pevek harbour of Chaunsky region, Chukotsky autonomous district.
ANADYR, the capital of Chukotka in north-east Russia


A delegation of journalists and businessmen from Nome (Alaska) visited inauguration of the newly elected governor Abramovich in Anadyr, Chukotka.  The delegation discussed opportunities to establish a Rotary Club in Chukotka, simplification of regulations concerning country entrance and departure, cooperation in various ways, and tourism to Chukotka.  (Source: Vostok Media)   OIL & GAS:
Sibneft, managed by Roman Abramovich, newly-elected Governor of Chukotka, started delivery of oil drilling equipment, bulldozers, and parts to Chukotka. 
Sibneft plants to develop both off-shore and on-shore oil reserves in Chukotka. 

The reserves were researched long ago but were not developed due to high costs and difficult weather conditions.  Sibneft believes that the company will be able to overcome these difficulties and solve the energy crisis in Northeastern Russia as well as supply fuel to fishing vessels in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. (Source: Vostok Media Jan 2001)

One of Russia's largest integrated oil companies,Siberian Oil Company (Sibneft) is engaged in exploration, production,  refining, and wholesale marketing of petroleum products.

Retail operations include a chain of about 720 service stations across western and central Siberia.
The company,  with proved reserves of 4.6 billion barrels of oil, controls a  major refinery in Omsk that produces about 340,000 barrels  of oil per day.
Sibneft also has strategic alliances with  Western oil services companies Schlumberger and BJ Services.

Reclusive oligarch Roman Abramovich claims to control Sibneft, although Western banks ING Barings, ABN AMRO, and Deutsche Bank nominally hold 23%, 20%, and 19% of the company, respectively.

Chukotka Sits On Riches But Lives In Poverty
By Andrei Ivanov and Judith Perera

MOSCOW, Nov 12 (IPS) - For the past two weeks, Anadyr, the capital of Chukotka in north-east Russia, has been facing daily power cuts, as its local authorities desperately hunt for cash to run life-sustaining basic services. As the Arctic winter sets in, power is being shut off daily for four hours a time, putting refrigerators out of service and endangering winter food stores. Even the gas supplies cut out when the electricity goes off.

On paper, Chukotka, 6,700 kilometres north-east of Moscow, is rich beyond its needs. It sits on the second largest reserves of gold in Russia, as well as significant reserves of coal, tin and oil, with plentiful fish stocks off its long coasts. Yet the inhospitable province still cannot provide for itself and must 'import' everything from toilet paper to light bulbs from St Petersburg, and pay for them with its earnings from the raw materials it 'exports' to the south. And there are no earnings, as their trading partners in Russian provinces elsewhere see their cash flow disappear and the value of their assets evaporate in the present economic crisis.
Last year the region's total trade turnover was worth four million dollars. But this covered exports worth 20,000 dollars and imports worth 3.98 million dollars -- a 99 percent deficit.

In Soviet days, when the region was developed to allow the exploitation of its natural resources, Moscow encouraged people to move into the region by offering higher than average pay and many other privileges. A 'northern delivery' programme, run from St Petersburg, was established to bring in supplies regardless of cost.
This is no longer possible. Last year the supplies feel short by 700,000, including a missing 138,000 tonnes of vital oil products, says Vladimir Goman, chairman of Russia's State Committee for the North.
The situation is no better this year. Only the 'survival minimum' of food and fuel has been delivered to the northern regions, he says.

Chukotka overall needs 460,000 tonnes of coal, but supplies will be reduced to a minimum this winter because of the financial difficulties. Even then the local administration has no money to pay the workers who deliver it to the general populace. Furthermore Chukotka's only nuclear power plant at Bilibino may soon be closed by safety fears and funding problems. The plant has not been paid for the power it supplied in 1997 or 1998, leaving it with a deficit of 109 million roubles (about 6.8 million dollars).

Goman concedes that the Russian government has done its best to settle the problems under conditions of economic crisis and a paralysed banking system. He also notes that Chukotka's own administration needs improvements in efficiency even though it employs twice the number of bureaucrats than the Russian average. But he also complains that Moscow has failed to deliver all the money it has pledged in the past, creating a crisis for this and next year. ''Poor organisation is only a part of the problem,'' he says.
''From 1994 to this day, about 20 billion roubles in credits and loans were allocated to northern territories for goods and supplies. However, only 40.5 percent of the money was received by regional funds for support of northern supplies. Where is the rest of the money?''

Last December, the Russian government agreed to back measures to reform state support for the North and reaffirm support for a comprehensive programme for the development of northern regions. ''However, they are of little effect and are not being properly fulfilled,'' Goman says. Instead he is pressing Moscow to allow a top to bottom revision of the region's municipal zoning, on which supplies and funds are allocated.
''Many towns and settlements have been deserted by their residents,'' he says. In fact the region's population has fallen by half, from 160,000 to 80,935 people between 1990 and 1998. Whole settlements are being shut down as people lose their jobs, abandon their valueless homes and property and seek work elsewhere.

The old and poor are trapped. ''Today, one in every five northern residents is a pensioner. It is necessary to encourage their movement to the country's southern regions in order to release funds to support the able-bodied population.'' Only very few people presently benefit from relocation aid packages designed to help migrants buy new homes or ship their belongings to new homes in Central Russia. And those who are leaving are the descendants of the original privileged Russian immigrants.

Like the old, the indigenous peoples of the region are being left behind to make the best of what is left of their traditional ways of life and work, as reindeer herders and fishermen.

For Goman, it is the plight of these indigenous peoples that most worries him. ''The preservation of traditional occupations and crafts is a matter of survival for these peoples who live in extremely difficult conditions.'' These arctic rural communities, where the average lifespan is just 45 years, are plagued by tuberculosis, parasitic infections, alcoholism and unemployment.
''Even with the present limited resources of the federal budget it is important to find funds for promoting reindeer husbandry as a major source of food supplies for ethnic villages and nomadic tribal communities,'' he says.
He wants sea fishing licences to go to ethnic minority businesses and fresh funds directed to commodity producers. He also urges a new system of ownership of land and mineral resources -- presently controlled by federal and regional governments -- that gives the indigenous populations a bigger say and a fairer share in the division of resources.

Whether all this can be done is not known. ''The government has been very busy passing laws on the far north,'' Goman says, ''but few of them are implemented.''

In the long run, Goman believes, the economic hardships will be overcome ''and the time will come when we shall continue the development of huge reserves of oil, gas, non-ferrous metals, gold, diamonds and the other riches of the North.
''The government's task is to create the necessary conditions for this.'' (END/IPS/AI/JMP/RJ/98)

Russia's Chukotka Autonomous Region Overview


 Summary. Chukotka Autonomous Region is located in the northeastern-most area of Russia on the Chukotka peninsula and on the adjoining part of the mainland. In 1992, Chukotka was separated from the Magadan Region and is currently one of 89 Russian regions. Chukotka peninsula is separated from the United States by the Bering straight and is the Russian territory closest to the Unites States, both geographically and in its potential economic and business cooperation.

Severe climate conditions have not prevented Chukotka region from developing various branches of its industry - mining, reindeer breeding, hunting, and fur trade; and the economic potential of the region goes even far beyond those industry sectors. Handicraft and distinctive culture create the unique ethnic atmosphere of Chukotka. Chukotka has good potential for long-term investment. Being traditionally a land of reindeer herders and sea mammal hunters, Chukotka is distinguished by gold ore deposits and rich natural resources which form a basis for potential profitable business cooperation with this region of Russia. End Summary.

 1. History and Geography. The Chukotka Autonomous Region is one of the 89 regions of the Russian Federation. It is the farthest northeastern part of Russia that borders Alaska via the Bering Straight. The closest to Alaska is the Russian Ratmanov Island which is less than five kilometers from one of the two Diomede Islands belonging to the U.S. In 1643, the explorer and seafarer Semyon Dezhnev reached the Kolyma outfall, and in 1648, he went from the Kolyma outfall to the shore of Chukotka peninsula. Finally, his boat was cast ashore by the severe sea, and in 1648, Semyon Dezhnev reached the Anadyr outfall by land and discovered a straight connecting Asia and North America. Dezhnev's name was given to the farthest northeastern point of Asia at Chukotka.

 The Chukotka Region was formed in 1940 as an independent national unit, but later it was included in regions of Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, and since 1953 - in the Magadan Region. In 1980, Chukotka obtained a status of autonomous region within the Magadan Oblast, and in 1992, the region once again became an independent unit of the Russian Federation.

 The word "Chukotka" was formed from the Russian name of an ancient tribe, "Chukchi" (they call themselves Lyg'oravetlan). The word "Chukchi", is derived from "Chauchi", that is "rich with reindeers", and is known since the time of Dezhnev's reports 350 years ago. Thus, the name "Chukotka" itself is full of content and means "an area inhabited by reindeer people, Chukchi".

 Located on the Chukotka peninsula and on the adjoining part of the mainland, Chukotka region is washed by the Arctic Ocean (the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea) and by the Pacific Ocean (the White Sea and the Okhotsk Sea). It borders on the Magadan Region and the Koryak Region. Chukotka is located 3,671 miles away from Moscow. The area of Chukotka is 737,000 square kilometers (284,000 square miles), and it is the sixth largest area in Russia. Chukotka Region includes eight administrative divisions, three cities and towns, and 17 urban-type settlements. The major cities are Anadyr (population of 13,000), Bilibino (11,000), and Pevek (9,000). The landscape is mainly plateau and mountainous.

The rivers in the region belong to the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean basins. The largest is the Anadyr River which flows into the Bering Sea. There is a number of lakes in the region. Permafrost and tundra cover most of Chukotka. During summer months, between May and September, the tundra is vibrant with flowers, shrubs and wild berries. Chukotka has 31,516 square kilometers set aside as protected nature areas, including the Wrangel Island, a 795,000 hectare nature reserve in the Arctic Ocean, which is home to polar bear, walrus and Arctic geese. Fauna includes many types of animals and fish such as arctic fox, squirrel, fox, wolf, bear, white hare, reindeer, seal, walrus, and some others. Currently, several institutions are interested in establishing an international park, Beringia, which would include a large territory in Chukotka.

 Chukotka has a severe climate. The geographical location of the Chukotka peninsula between two oceans has resulted in extreme temperatures and complex atmospheric weather patterns. Cyclones and anticyclones are characteristic of Chukotka's weather, which may change several times a day: a strong, cold north wind may suddenly give way to southern winds that bring snowstorms or blizzards. The annual average temperature is always below zero centigrade throughout Chukotka. On average, there are 150 windy days in coastal areas. In winter, polar nights cover half of Chukotka's territory whereupon its towns and villages are plunged into frosty darkness for several months. The sun rises over the horizon for no longer than two or three hours a day. Strong winds (up to 30 meters per second) form big snowdrifts that cover Chukotka from September till May.

 2. Population. Chukotka's population is currently 80,000 in comparison with 113,000 in 1995 and it is diminishing rapidly. Urban population represents 71 percent, and rural population - 29 percent. Population density is 0.2 persons per one square kilometer. About two thirds of population have emigrated to the mainland in last five years, 10 percent of them are Chukchi and 60 percent - Russians. In order to attract younger population, Chukotka administration is working closely with Ukrainian and Belorussian governments. Unemployment rate in Chukotka is 3.8-4.5 percent.

 The major native populations of Chukotka are Chukchi and Chuvantsy who live in the tundra of Chukotka in iarangas, the reindeer-skin dwellings. Other native populations include Eskimo, Koriak, and Eveny. However, about 65 percent of population came from the mainland and include Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians. Russians were attracted to Chukotka by high salaries (standard salaries were multiplied by three, and it was a perfect opportunity in Soviet times to work in Chukotka for three to five years and then return to mainland and buy an apartment there) but nowadays salaries in Chukotka are not much higher than in other regions of Russia (average salary is 2,600 rubles, or US$430) while prices are two to three times higher because of transportation and storage expenses.

3. Economy, Industry and Agriculture. Chukotka ranks seventy sixth in Russia in the total industrial output. Chukotka economy is focused on mining as a major industry sector. The region is rich in natural resources represented by deposits of tin ores, mercury ores, gold, coal, natural gas, and building materials. Chukotka has the second largest reserve of gold and tungsten in Russia. Chukotka's economy is based on the mining industry, but its industrial output is declining because of low profitability. The main industrial centers are Pevek and Bilibino.

After separating from the Magadan Region in 1992, Chukotka lost well developed economic infrastructure, and it is now aimed at establishing new economic links.

 Gold mining is a leading industry and is centered in Bilibinsky, Smidtovsky, and Chaunsky districts. In 1994, Chukotka produced approximately 10 tons of gold. Tin is mined in the Chaunsky and Iultinsky districts. The steel and metal industry is represented by non-ferrous metallurgy (71 percent of total industrial output). Power and energy industry (19 percent) is based mainly on Bilibino atomic power plant and the Chaun thermal power plant. Currently, a floating atomic power plant is being constructed which will be moved to Pevek and it is expected to make energy less expensive. The fuel industry holds three percent and is represented by coal mining (Anadyr). Fish products and reindeer meat represent the food industry.

 The Bilibino nuclear power plant is the closest Russian nuclear power station to the United States. It is located 1,300 kilometers from Nome and 2,200 kilometers from Anchorage. The Bilibino power plant was built in 1973, and it is planned be put out of operation by 2007. Russia plans to build small new-generation floating nuclear reactors for use in electricity production and water desalination. The design has been developed by a Minatom mechanical engineering unit in Nizhny Novgorod and the Kurchatov Atomic Energy Institute in Moscow. Construction of the Pevek floating nuclear power plant is expected to be completed by the end of the century. It will be the first of 15 small floating reactors designed to bring electricity to remote regions of the Arctic.

The advantage of the floating power plants, is that they will not require refueling for up to four years, will operate for up to 40 years, being interrupted every 13 years for a return to Murmansk for maintenance. The power produced by those power plants would be five times cheaper than from other available sources (10 cents/kWh), and reactors will pay for themselves after only 10 years. Two KLT-40 35 Mwe reactors that are presently used in nuclear-powered ice-breakers, will be placed aboard a 160 meter long unpropelled steel barge. As well as the reactors, the barge will have four more units, either power plants or desalination plants, or a combination.

There are no railways and highways in Chukotka. Port service and support is one of Chukotka's main industries. Anadyr, Beringovsky, Egvenkinot, Lavrentiya, Provideniya, Schmidt, and Pevek are seaports on the Northern Sea Route which goes from Murmansk to the Pacific. Major seaports are Anadyr and Pevek. Both cities also have international airports that require modernization. There are three regular flights from Moscow to Anadyr each week and one charter flight from Moscow to Pevek, both from Vnukovo airport. The flight takes about eight hours. Chukotka is nine time zones away from Moscow (+9 hours Moscow time).

Telecommunication system of the region includes:

 - network equipment (automatic communication stations in district and region centers, automatic telephone stations in villages and institutions),
- a network of ground communication lines which include internal zonal communication lines between communication stations as well as local communications lines,
- a network of satellite communication lines including point-to-point lines between the regional automatic long-distance telephone stations in Anadyr, and automatic long-distance switching stations in Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Magadan, communication lines with distant communities and between telephone users connected in the network according to the unit principle.

 While establishing a unified communications system, Chukotka purchased digital communication equipment S-2000 from Iskratel, Slovenia. The unified satellite communications system will be established by the end of 1998 and will make it possible to call major cities of Chukotka directly using the city code. Communications system will be established using the Russian Gorizont satellite on geostationary orbit.

Currently, only 20 to 25 percent of Chukotka's population and enterprises can make long-distance calls due to the lack of point-to-point communication channels, and low capacity of the long-distance telephone station; and the Chukotka Division of Communications cannot satisfy the high demand in telephones for population due to the lack of telephone capacity. Cellular network is being developed using low orbit satellites via the central station though the demand is relatively low because of low purchasing power of the population.

 Chukotka region ranks eighty fourth in Russia in total agriculture production. Green-house cultivation of vegetables is common because of permafrost. Animal husbandry includes reindeer-breeding, fur-farming, and fishing. Throughout the region, some 450,000 reindeer graze each year. Chukotka produces several reindeer products, including meat, skins and hard horn. Chukotka does not export any agricultural products. It imports most of food products either from the other regions of Russia or from abroad. Chukotka officials claim that the United States is the major exporter of food products to the region, including meat, vegetables (mainly potatoes) and fruit that come from Alaska.

4. Science. The Scientific Research Center "Chukotka" (NITs) is a research institute located in Anadyr that is engaged in natural sciences such as geology, permafrost studies, water ecosystems, studies of languages of native population, and ethnographic studies. The institute has arranged a number of expeditions to study the tundra nature and rich natural resources of the region as well as ethnography. Scholars from Japan, the United States and many other countries visit NITs as interns.

The main research issues of NITs are as follows:

 - study of the structure of geospheres and the principles of organization of biosphere and noosphere systems in Western Beringia,
- biologic cycle characteristic features in the Beringia sector of Arctic and Subarctic zones,
- study of biological and ecological diversity in Chukotka, estimation of biological resources potential,
- ecological expertise of realization of technical and other projects,
- ethnosocial and medico-ecological problems of the region,
- ecological certification of population centers and enterprises,
- creation of ecological, socio-demographic and mineral data banks of the region, and
- strategy of protection and rational use of nature in Chukotka.

 5. Major Cities. The capital city of Chukotka is Anadyr. Its population is 13,000 which is large for an Arctic city. Majority of population are immigrants to the region, mainly Russians and Ukrainians with a small native population. The population has been fluctuating in recent years as people migrate away from Chukotka. In the stores one can find all kinds of imported foods including those from the U.S., priced several times higher than in Central Russia.

Pevek is one of the major industrial cities in the region. Established in 1930-s, Pevek is now the most northern city in Russia and a large seaport. Pevek received city status on April 6, 1967, and became the first city to the North of the Polar Circle. Pevek is the main city of the Chaunsky District of Chukotka. It is situated in latitude 69'40 North and longitude 170'11 East, above the Polar Circle.

The native population are chukchi, though they never inhabited the territory of Pevek because of a strong wind called "yuzhak" (the southerner) which blows from Peekinei mountain that gave a name to the city. The speed of "yuzhak" reached up to 30-40 meters per second with a maximum of 73. Summer in Pevek is short and cold, and snow remains all year round. In winter, the Polar night stays in Pevek for almost three months though auroras are common for the area.

Pevek is accessible by sea 100 days per year, and atomic ice-breakers are needed to enter the port in winter months. Having more than 30 ships a year entering the Pevek seaport ten years ago, Pevek currently has two to three ships arrive at port primarily to deliver food to the city. Some gold and other ore mines have been closed. Nevertheless, industry is still developing in the Chaunsky District. The road from Pevek to Bilibino has been built, and it is currently being expanded further to the east to Egvenkinot to facilitate transportation to and from deposits of natural resources. Mayskoye ore deposit is planned to be developed in 1999-2000.

In January 1999, the tender will be announced for the Mayskoye deposit by the Chukotka administration. There have also been extensive uranium deposits. Between 1942 and 1956, there were a number of camps for political prisoners who worked in uranium deposits in the Chaunsky District. The international airport and the seaport are expected to become international transit points in the North. Given the current economic difficulties, Pevek Administration was the first in Chukotka to open a Center for Social Protection which is a place where aged people can have lunch, medical help, meet, and relax.

 6. Investment Opportunities. Chukotka Autonomous Region may become an area of long-term investment for U.S. companies. Due to economic restructuring, there has been an increase in the number of cooperative projects in following: gold and polymetal mining industry, communications, transportation, meat and fish processing industry, and the development of biological resources.

Gold Mining. The Mayskoye golden ore deposit lies 280 kilometers south-east of Pevek. The exploration of the field has been completed. The ores are refractory and are represented by saturated sulfites and dynamometamorphism zones in rock mass of black shales. The average content of gold is 12 g/t. More than 70 percent of the gold is associated with pyrite and arsenopyrite.

Gravity and floatation concentration is considered to be effective, but the extracted concentrate must be specially enriched. Chukotka administration has sent delegations to Canada, Australia and South Africa looking for technology for refractory ore processing. In January 1999, the Chukotka administration plans to announce a tender for supply of technology for gold ore processing in the Mayskoye deposit.

Copper mining (the Peschanka copper field 150 kilometers south of Bilibino), tin reserves (Pyrkakayskoye deposit 80 kilometers east of Pevek), and oil and gas deposits in the Anadyrsky lowlands represent other areas for business cooperation.

 Transportation. Due to specific climatic conditions of Chukotka, problems of transportation are considered to be crucial. As there are few roads in the region, air transport is of primary importance. Building of new roads, upgrading outdated aircraft, development of airports and seaports are major economic issues in Chukotka that require investment. Chukotka needs to replace aircraft, the AN-24 and the AN-26, for more modern versions.

Anadyr international terminal is another investment project. Chukotka is also in need of new aircraft and helicopters to operate in the Arctic conditions, and to deliver small and large cargoes. Of particular importance is the development of better motor transportation network for delovery of goods. In the Chukotka Autonomous Region, motor transport deliveries are carried out by ice and dirt roads which are built every year, and in most cases, they do not correspond to the provisions of the safety code. The time has come to build gravel roads which can be used all year round. They will provide access to large mineral deposits in operation, and deliver cargo to areas situated far from the sea.

 Reindeer Herding. Since reindeer herding is an important branch of the Chukotka economy, technology for processing of reindeer skins, hard horns, endocrine, and ferments are of an interest to Chukotka. Since it is expensive to transport raw materials from rural communities to Anadyr, Chukotka needs new and small technology and equipment to slaughter and process reindeer, and multi-purpose equipment to dry velvet antlers, to process hard horns, endocrine, ferments, and to produce medical preparational units.

 Marine Mammal Hunting. Marine mammal hunting is part of the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous population in coastal Chukotkan communities. Native peoples are provided with an annual quota to procure 169 whales, 10,000 ringed seals, and 3,000 walruses. Marine mammal by-products are used as food in fox ranches. Seal skins and fat may be utilized for consumer food production. Due to lack of funds, Chukchi are unable to buy technology for processing marine mammals and use them for production of consumer goods. Cold storage and processing plants have to be constructed in the region.

Fisheries. A larger part of the eastern coast of Chukotka is washed by the Bering Sea and in the north-west zone, a number of companies fish for more than a million tons of different types of seafood. The region catch is 2,000 tons of pollack and cod. The Chukotka regional administration plans to develop fisheries by setting up a fleet of medium tonnage fishing boats with fish processing technology, and constructing fish processing plants and a cold storage. The goal of the Chukotka administration is to increase the catch in the Anadyrsky Lagoon (present limit 4,000 tons).

 The Seaweed Project. Another project planned by the Pevek administration is seaweed cultivation. Seafood has great potential as a food source as well as in the pharmaceutical industry.

 Tourism. Tourism is almost non-existent but has a huge economic potential. However, hotels and almost all other branches of service industry are below international standards and require investment. In 1992 and 1993, groups of cruise tourists came from the U.S. city of Nome for "extreme tourism" to explore native culture and the beautiful nature of the region. Pevek administration underlined their interest in developing tourism in their region. Native art of local population could become another attraction to the region. Whale bone carving is a world-famous art of Uelen village in Chukotka, the farthest eastern inhabited point of the region. Whaleboat regatta and whale hunting in July are major attractions in Uelen and Lavrentiya villages. In the Chaunsky District, petroglyphs were discovered dated to 10,000 B.C. Chukotka officials noted that they should have in place, by the end of 1998 a new tourism law that will make this area more attractive to tourists.

 However, since 1994, there has been no organized tourism in the area. The major reason for lack of tourism in the region is that tourist infrastructure is under developed, and there is no international class hotels, as mentioned above. However, long-term investments in tourism in Chukotka may represent opportunities for U.S. investors.

 Imports of Food Products. There is currently little foreign investment in the region. Foreign trade is developing and includes mainly food and other imports from neighboring Alaska. However, import from the United States is slowly decreasing. Chukotka administration established a representative office in Seattle, WA. They expressed interest in continuing to import potatoes, meat and fruit from the United States as well as many other food products.

Chukotka administration recognizes the high quality of U.S. food products and admits that buying potatoes in Seattle is cheaper than in Vladivostok. Regional officials also mentioned that there are 15 kinds of U.S. potatoes well adapted to northern conditions. However, in 1998, Chukotka will be purchasing potatoes from Holland and other food products from Central Russia because of lack of business relations with U.S. companies.

Pevek administration will be interested in importing fruit juices and baby food from the United States. Pevek administration is not able to do prepayments and would like U.S. supplier to consider two-three month delayed payment upon sale of food products. Pevek officials also stated that they would like to purchase U.S.-made children clothes.

7. Contact Information:

 Office of the Governor of the Chukotka Autonomous Region
22 Lenin Street, Anadyr 686710, Russia
Phone (operator assistance is needed): 4-25-49
Fax: 429-19
Alexander Nazarov, Governor of Chukotka
Phone: 4-25-83, 4-47-05
Fax: 4-24-66
Igor Shishkin, Vice Governor
Phone: 4-45-89
Fax: 4-24-66, 4-24-72
Alexander Barsukov, Vice Governor, Head of Real Estate Committee

 Chukotka Autonomous Region Representative Office in Moscow
Phone: 7 (095) 925-9513
Fax: 7 (095) 923-8624
Vladimir Vil'diaykin, First Vice Governor, Head of the Chukotka Administration Representative Office at the Government of Russia

The Chukotka Trade and Investment Office in Seattle
(non-profit entity organized to represent Chukotka)
Phone: (206) 624-6539
Fax: (206) 624-7679

 Chukotsvyazinform Joint Stock Company (Anadyr)
Phone: 4-25-66, 4-26-41
Fax: 4-01-17
Yuri Tuzov, General Director

 Pevek City and the Chaunsky District Administration
29, Obrucheva Ul., Pevek, Chukotka, 686610, Russia
Phone: 7 (42-749) 2-17-83
Fax: 7 (42-749) 2-21-42
Yuri Nikulin, Head of the Chaunsky District and Pevek City Administration

 Council of Federation
Committee for the Northern Territories
26, B. Dmitrovka, Moscow, 103426, Russia
Phone: 7 (095) 292-5735
Fax: 7 (095) 926-6951
Maxim Danilov, Assistant to the Committee Chair

map chukotka (E)


Chukotka's Oil and Gas Reserves Marketable
Are Still Questionable But Already Marketable
After Roman Abramovich was elected governor of Chukotka (and during his election campaign) the Russian media was copiously speculating about the oil tycoon's actual interests in the Far East, allegedly huge oil and gas reserves of the Chukchi Peninsula. Almost all stories ended with one sad conclusion about the low reserves and poor quality of local hydrocarbons, which do not deserve to be developed. A closer look shows that prospects for the exploration and development of oil and gas reserves in the area are not as bad as they seem.
 Full text available by request »»»  © Mikhail Zhuravlev RusEnergy

Environmental groups against floating nuclear power plant
 Earlier this year, the Centre of Environmental Policy of Russia and Greenpeace published a report about the expediency of the floating plant construction. The main conclusion is that floating nuclear power plants are dangerous and unacceptable from the environmental point of view as well as not profitable.

Proliferation of such plants will result in the dramatic increase of  the possibilities for obtaining fissile materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons, which would undermine non-proliferation efforts. Floating nuclear power plants scattered around the world would increase possibilities for international nuclear blackmailing and terrorism.
Due to these facts the authors of the report suggest taking measures to stop such plans of the Russian Nuclear Ministry.

Some Reserve Estimates

Word to the specialists from trust Dal'morneftegeophysical, which one lay out the concrete data about exploration of oil gas resources of Chukotka. They assert(approve), that the geologic features of region allow to guess availability there of larger patterns, perspective on availability of oil and gas, than found out. The basic hopes search bundle thus to offshore exploration of Bering sea. A main body Anad’yr , Khatyr of basins, and also all Navarinskij basin lay outside a land, where looking ups was not undertaken - ever, although these zones are considered as continuation famous by the jumbo reserves Alaskan oil and gas  province.

The Mineral Management Service of USA (US Mineral Management Service) conducted prospecting east part Long – Chukotka basin on boundary of the Russian economical zone in Bering sea and has estimated geological reserves in the studied region in 2-5 billion tons of conditional propellant. In next Navarin basin the same service predicts availability 160 mln tons of oil and 220 billion cubic metres of gas distillate. In April 1985 the Americans sold licenses for 24 leases in this basin for 150 mln, dollars - with a condition, that the works can begin only after Russia and USA will conduct demarcation of the zones on shelf. In 1990, demarcation was held, and the holders of the licenses have an opportunity to begin prospecting.

The forecasts and expectations
Moreover, to north from Chukotka, on shelf Chukotka and East - Siberian seas the so-called upheavals Dzheralda and Vrangelya are located, and are farther in depth Northern Ledovi (glacial) Ocean - Severo - Chukotka basin. Both regions are perspective from outlook of oil exploration and gas, although climatic conditions for this purpose are extremely adverse.

Under the forecasts of the Ministry of natural resources, the perspective initial reserves of hydrocarbons on continental shelf around Chukotka and on land are valued as follows (in conditional propellant):
The east - Siberian sea - 5583 mln tons
Chukotka - 3335 mln tons
Bering sea - 1075 mln tons on the continental part of a peninsula - 1515 mln tons based on geologic data,
On Chukotka shelf in one only Bering sea is expected discovery 4 oilfields with reserves 100-300 mln tons and more small-sized 9 - with reserves 30-100 mln tons, and also 3 gas fields of 100-300 billion cubic metre, 5 - 30-100 billion cubic metres and 16 - to 10-30 billion of cubic metres.

Oil and gas reserves of Chukotka
while questionable, but trade in them is already possible Mikhail Shuravlev [from Russian]

After election of Roman Abramovich governor of Chukotka (and during his campaign) the Russian mass media were not bought up on the gamble that original concern of the oil magnate on Far East appears to be the hypothetical oil and gas resources of the Chukotka peninsula. The deduction, however, was made that poor quality hydrocarbons there were not enough to justify development. At the same time, analysis that is more steadfast demonstrates that with prospecting outlooks and production activity of hydrocarbons in that region is not at all as pitiable as it seems.

The business concerns of the new governor of Chukotka are not confined to Sibneft, which is not too active working on oil fields Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. If to trust economic publications - according to Roman Arkad'evich treasurer of the Yeltsin family - creator of Russian aluminum acquired the large block of Gorkov car factory shares, and recently negotiations of KutiiSaha Diamonds. At such breadth of coverage, gubernatorial post on edge Ojkumeny seems simply by oligarch whim, which without him has not so dearly to warm and feed during campaign some thousand voters -is quite within the power of such a large financial business corporation.

Seeking a Positive Commitment
Date of the publication: January 18, 2001.
Nevertheless, oil and gas concerns on Chukotka are loPEVEK The location place for NTPP primary unit is Pevek harbour of Chaunsky region, Chukotsky autonomous district. Chukotsky autonomous district is the regionoked through the messages of the Moscow press on delivery of Abramovich machinery's for oil extracting in a settlement of Hantyrka on standardization have appeared a bluff. Business geologists for a long time already suspect availability of solid hydrocarbon reserves on shelf around the peninsula, although any prospecting of that are was never conducted.

Both Geologic and geophysical exploration on oil and gas was conducted only on continental part of Chukotka peninsula from early 1960s. On the data of the Ministry of natural resources of Russian Federation, some tens search and parametric wells were drilled there and seismic operations are held. The explorers revealed four oilfields and gas in the Anadyrsk basin, which technically speaking suited developments. Nevertheless, the small sizes of reserves did not justify expenditures, even in the epoch of central budgeting, and bulk of ores has remained untouched. In particular, Westlake gas field in 100 km from Anadyrsk and small petroleum deposits in 130 kms from it. In the beginning and middle 1990s, the representative of Chukotka even committed to conduct tender on these fields, but nobody from the large companies exhibited to them any practical concern.

It is interesting, that the state programs designed in mid-1990s envisioned beginning of commercial hydrocarbon development of Chukotka. For 2020 it planned to mine there 82 mln of tons of oil annually, 9 mln of tons of a condensate and 336 billion of cubic metres of gas.

There would be investors, and the leases will be the Russian legislation does not prevent areal authorities to exhibit on a tender small oilfields and gas. In this respect, Abramovich is quite capable to begin to act on his own authority. As to continental shelf to dispose of its mineral reserves, only the federal authority has the right. However provincial representative can very much affect acceptance of such decisions.

First, it has the right (in tandem with the Ministry of natural resources or its domestic representative) to grant resolutions to geophysical and geologic studies without licenses, under annual contracts. This opportunity authorities of Sakhalin, Khabarovsk territory and Magadan area use widely, from blagosloveniya which one trust Dal'morneftegeophysical together with Norwegian firm PGS conducting seismic surveys on Far East shelf.

Secondly, the federal government at budgeting tenders on leases of continental shelf proceeds, as a rule, not from the own plans in the regard of the given leases, but from availability of the investors wishing to undertake it. Such tenders can be organized under the initiative of onsite authorities, which are capable to introduce a set of the potential participants to the government.  If even part of hearings about influencing Abramovich in corridors of the Moscow authority corresponds, to true to open campaign for licensing leases in Bering sea for example the Americans will not make the special work.

It is possible, that soon we will become witnesses of such activity. Although Russian geologists consider the harsh climatic and geological conditions of Chukotka, and present level of technical equipment there, would allow to extract from a mineral resources no more than 12-15 % of initial reserves of oil and gas potential of region. Multiplied on business grasp the new Chukotka governor inspires of optimism and is capable to attract in region of the serious Russian and foreign investors.
Date of the publication: January 18, 2001.

Petroleum Potential of Shallow-Water areas of Russian Arctic
Internet Geology News Letter No. 96, May 7, 2001

     The belt of shallow water directly adjacent to a shore line of a  marine basin is designated as a "transition zone".  It has long been  inaccessible for marine geophysical surveys and onshore study.   As a consequence the correlation of offshore and onshore information  depended to a great extent on remote sensing methods, largely  magnetic surveys.  For this reason these transition zones have  remained a blank spot on many maps of oil-gas potential.

     Many onshore oil-gas areas  located close to marine basins  extend offshore.  Such shallow-water zones are prime targets  because extrapolation from the onshore is not that much of a  problem.   Even small fields may be economic.  The transition zones  include coastal marshes, embayments, banks, river deltas, shallow-  water reefs, broad tidal zones, littoral zones, and shallow-water  coastal sectors, where water depth is generally less than 10-15 m.  Typical of all of these are conditions that are not favorable for  seismic surveying.

     Some provinces, regions, and fields extend into transition zones.   Such fields as Kharasavey in Yamal and Medyn in the Pechora  Lowland are divided by the shore line into almost equal parts.  The  zone of the Russian Shelf with shallow water depths of 0-20 m  extends over an area of 570,000 sq km, and the Arctic Shelf is  assessed to contain up to 25 percent of the total Arctic offshore  resources.

     In the west of the Arctic Shelf are two large oil-gas provinces, the  transition zones of which have high potential.  One of these is the  broad shallow-water area adjacent to the Pechora Lowland and  Kolguyev Island.  Traps there are small and pay zones have a wide  stratigraphic range.  Density of predicted resources of individual  sectors of this transition zone is commensurate with maximum  values of resources of well studied onshore structures.  The   shallow-water zone of the Mezen depression in the south of the  Barents Sea may also offer good targets.

     Another broad favorable belt of shallow water is in the Kara Sea.   This is a direct continuation of the West Siberian province.  A whole  series of large fields extend offshore from Yamal and Gyda Peninsulas.   In spite of relatively simple and well studied geology, geophysical  investigation of these transition zones is difficult.

     Favorable shallow-water zones are known also in the eastern  Arctic Sea, but they have received little study. The Ust'-Khatanga  and Ust'-Lena shallow-water areas are the most favorable.  The latter  is located on a continuation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and conditions  are similar to those of California.  The entire Yano-Indigirka Lowland  along with a broad belt of shallow water is favorable; however, its  development is decades away.  Taken from Verba and others, 2000; digested in Petroleum Geology, vol. 35, no. 3, one map, in preparation.  Copyright 2001 James Clarke.  Earlier News Letters are available at  our web page:       http://geocities.com/internetgeology/   This News Letter is distributed without charge in the interest of our  science of petroleum geology.  To be added to the mailing list,  please send your e-mail address to:     jamesclarke@erols.com