Friday, October 22, 2010

Resources Ministry Considers Opening Shelf to Foreigners

Russia's Natural Resources Ministry has proposed amendments to the Subsurface Law that would, in undefined "special circumstances," allow foreign investors to acquire more than the 10% currently available to them in extraction projects for strategic resources such as nickel, cobalt, uranium, diamonds and to participate in continental shelf projects, which are currently open to Russian companies only. Under the amendments, the foreign investor could apply for a license before completion of geological surveys or before discovery of deposits. The proposed liberalization has been explained as a way to attract investments that are beyond the capacities of Russian state companies.

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