Russia Gold-Mining Industry ‘Shackled’ by Regulation, Nesis Says

Russia’s gold-mining industry is “shackled” by poor regulation, limiting its development, according to Polymetal International Plc Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Nesis.

“Russia has the best prospects globally for gold mining,” Nesis said today at the Minex Russia Forum in Moscow. While it’s politically stable and has “good” resources, state rules hamper efforts to expand production, he said.

Russia, boasting the third-biggest gold reserves, ranks only fourth in terms of output, U.S. Geological Survey data show. That means producers can’t take full advantage of prices that have risen for 11 straight years. Licensing of gold deposits is held up by time-consuming bureaucracy, according to St. Petersburg-based Polymetal, which left the MSCI Russia Index last year in favor of the U.K. FTSE 100’s wider investor base.

The licensing process is “very slow” and not technically advanced, with some state bodies not even accepting electronic documents, Nesis said. He advised separating legislation for oil and gas from laws governing hard commodities such as gold.

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