Over 70 fields of mineral resources in Russia may be declared strategic – Natural Resource Minister Yury Trutnevadmin
Russia’s Natural Resource Minister Yury Trutnev said in an interview with Interfax that the ministry has proposed new criteria regarding volume of mineral resources to list a field in the strategic category.
The new criteria will significantly increase the list of oil and gas fields. Now, if these criteria are approved, about 30 oil fields and 40 gas fields will be declared strategic, the minister said.
For oil the threshold for listing fields as strategic has been lowered from 150 million tonnes to 70 million tonnes, for gas – from 1 trillion cubic meters to 50 billion cubic meters, for copper – from 10 million tonnes to 500,000 tonnes, and for gold – from 700 tonnes to 50 tonnes, Trutnev said.
According to the new criteria, three copper and one gold field would be listed as strategic. For gold, in line with the new criteria, the list does not include any fields that have already been discovered, except for Sukhoi Log. For copper the threshold has been set at 500,000 tonnes, and three fields fall in the strategic category, he said.
These criteria would apply to the primary distribution of fields at auction, and the discovery of fields during geological exploration, he added.
Earlier the Natural Resources Ministry planned to list only five fields as strategic: the Titov and Trebs oil fields, the Chayanda oil and gas field, the Sukhoi gold field and the Udokan copper field.
The Russian Natural Resources Ministry is not for the time being planning to restrict access by foreigners to nickel and platinum-group metal (PGM) fields, the minister continued.
The ministry is not yet planning to submit criteria to the government to categorize these fields as strategic. For the time being we’re not submitting or planning to submit such proposals, although we are considering this, in particular for nickel, platinum and other minerals, Trutnev said.