An opportunity lost in Russian mining

The nation has discouraged foreign junior miners from bringing its wealth to the surface.

Economist Intelligence Unit

July 9, 2013

By Robert Stowe England

“I think it’s a shame we're not in Russia,” says Clive Johnson, president and chief executive officer of B2Gold. The Vancouver company has explored and developed mines in Nicaragua, the Philippines and Namibia, among other places. “As Canadians with expertise in mining and exploration, we offer a lot,” he adds.

Russia may also be losing out. That vast country  has enormous untapped mineral wealth—enough to make it a precious metals mining superpower. Foreign junior miners, which focus on exploration rather than mining production, were thick on the ground searching for new mining projects during the 1990s and the most of the decade that followed. In 2008, however, most of them fled because of new restrictive government policies.

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Robert Stowe England is an author and financial journalist who has specialized in writing about financial institutions, financial markets, retirement income issues, and the financial impact of population aging.

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