In Russia there is ongoing debate about whether it is necessary to launch “gold rush” in the country. Magadan oblast, Yakutia, and Zabaykalsky Krai are actively lobbying for the adoption of a law allowing Russia’s gold production by individuals. This will help the development of small and medium business in the country and increase production of the gold that the crisis is not exactly hurt. But is it really?
Last year the Russian government has received the approval of amendments to the law on free gold miners, which may allow for the development of deposits of individuals. In the first phase of the innovation plan to test in the Magadan region, and if the attempt is successful, such practice will be introduced in other regions.
“The people who mined the gold, get to pay just 15% of the cost of a gram of gold is 2.4 thousand rubles. Is 360 rubles. And for the stolen gold can be sold for five times more”
Introduced amendments will simplify the procedure for obtaining licences to develop gold mines for ordinary citizens. It is planned to provide sections not more than 0.15 square meter, abandoned by large market players with reserves of placer gold not exceeding 10 kg for a period of five years. In Russia, private individuals are forbidden to engage in mining since 1954. But Magadan authorities tried to legalize “free miners” since the 1990s.
The main argument in support of the bill developed by Ministry of natural resources, Ministry of natural resources of the Magadan region referred to the employment of people in remote areas, reports TASS. Such reform will allow to reduce social tension without additional investments aimed at job creation. Secondly, the region will become more attractive, it will provide the influx of people, according to local authorities.
Agree with this and in Yakutia. Free gold miners will benefit the development of small and medium businesses, increase employment, legalization of shadow business in this sphere, said the Deputy of legislative Assembly of the Republic Viktor Fedorov. Free hatters will lead to the development of industrial tourism in the region people will travel to Yakutia to mine the gold, says the Director of the financial-economic Institute North-Eastern Federal University Alexander Kugaevsky.
According to Krasnoyarsk scientists, who in February 2016, also expressed their support for this initiative, the revival of the individual gold mining will bring out of the shadows “black” prospectors who illegally mined metals in the North region.
The country will receive additional volumes of the yellow metal, which today often find themselves on the black market, said earlier the Minister of natural resources and industrial policy of the Baikal region Oleg Polyakov. In times of crisis to change this situation, in his opinion, is especially important.
Total number of pluses of the new law: the budget will receive additional revenues due to the growth of gold production by at least 300 kg of precious metal. This will be a stimulus for the development of small and medium business in the regions. It will create new jobs: the act will employ at least 2 thousand. Finally, the law will provide the influx of people into the sparsely populated regions of the country.
The rampant theft
However, there are opponents of this “gold rush.” The main disadvantage of legalization of private gold mining is rampant corruption, theft and criminality. Categorically against adoption of this law in the Union of prospectors of Russia.
“When I asked how many of these sites is available on balance of Rosnedr, it was found that across the Magadan region for a total of 40 parcels that meet the bill. The idea is to give the job of 40 workers and around this we need to organize dances?”, – says the newspaper VIEW Chairman of the Union of miners of Russia Viktor Tarakanov.
In his opinion, this law will not solve any of our problems – nor reduce unemployment, nor to attract new people to the remote areas, may increase the growth of gold production in the country.
First, according to him, no one will have to manually extract gold from placer deposits, since it is a heavy and unprofitable work.
“Do you know how many grams per cubic meter Sands in placer deposits? Now if half a gram per cubic meter is, it is good. And you know what it means cubic meter of earth in a wheelbarrow to bring in and wash?”, – surprised tarakanovskiy.
“To the mine to work properly, the output should be no less than 2 kg per person per season. This figure had no saleprinivil manually with shovels, crowbars, wheelbarrows and propodosoma will not do, – said the source. According to him, 40 people may obtain, if honest, will work every 50 grams or 2 kilograms per season.
Now the price of gold reach $ 1,200 per ounce (31.1 grams). Grams worth about $ 40 or 2400 rubles. That is, during the season you can earn $ 2,000 (about 120 thousand). And it lasts from March-April to November, almost 10 months. For a month to earn get 12 thousand rubles.
There is hardly a lot of wishing for such little money to go from the European part of Russia to live in the forest. While the adventurous will quickly drop it.
“In the Magadan region was 550 thousand people in the late 80-b, now there are only 146 thousand and the Rest went from there. There are dozens of destroyed villages, where there is none. Of the 146 thousand of the remaining population, 70% live in the city of Magadan. The whole region was depopulated. What new people will come? For hundreds of miles there is no shelter, no food, nothing,” – says the Chairman of the Union of prospectors of Russia.
However, the lack of positive effects not so bad. Importantly, the adoption of the law would bring irreparable rampant crime. Tarakanov explained that you will start stealing from mining companies. Simply start taking the gold from the plants, and under the guise of his own mined gold to legally pass. Experts agree that now is the theft takes place to be, and the shadow market exists. It is estimated that it is at least 10% of the gold production in the country.
However, allowing individuals to mine gold by hand and appeared able to legally take the precious metal will lead to the fact that the scale of this theft from companies will be catastrophic. In other words, now to steal all the risk not for fear of going to jail or deal with crime. Another thing, when you is legal to sell stolen grams and kilograms. Those wishing to make gold with companies will increase significantly.
The source cites the example adopted in the 1990-ies in the Magadan region, the local law of the gold, allowing prey individuals. “When in the 90s he started to act local act gold in the Magadan region, in a mass order began stealing gold enterprises and cooperatives, that is, those who by hard work to get this gold. Now still afraid to haul the stolen gold. And then (when they change the law) will not be afraid: bring the stolen and sell. Say, “I got”. Track in the forest impossible. On one wage earner to keep the five supervisors?”, – said Tarakanov.
“And they gave it the gold? Then it was possible to reach any zolotorudnoj cash, it is not known who was holding her, throw a bag of gold, he immediately paid, even documents did not ask. And then after five steps over the head boom, took money and all,” – says the interlocutor of the newspaper VIEW. Now the situation again, he said.
Actually, it is therefore against this law are also FSB and the Ministry of justice.
In this case, the adoption of a law really will not lead to lower unemployment, no growth in gold production and revenues. Just to steal will be more mining operations kriminaliserat even worse, and they could be at risk.
I must say that now the situation with the theft of gold and not so rosy. For example, in late 2013 revealed that of the Kolyma refinery in the village of khasyn, Magadan region stole 2 tons of gold and tons of silver. “People who have handed over the gold to refining, was left without money. Has anyone figured out? There all went MIA, and the UK and the FSB. All the zeros,” – says the source.
The company owes the workers more than 4 billion rubles, but on the balance of such money was not due to loss of gold. Then hit the farm Kolyma and Yakutia; no precious metal, no money for him, the miners have not got. The plant was on the verge of bankruptcy, and regional governments were forced to spend budget funds to help the employees.
The lifting of the ban on gold mining by individuals can easily provoke such a stalemate for many companies in the industry.
“The people who mined gold, receive a salary of only 15% of the cost of a gram of gold is 2.4 thousand rubles. Is 360 rubles. All the rest goes for taxes, material resources, etc. And stolen gold can be sold for five times more, sold for 1,800 rubles per gram. And no taxes to pay. The buyer resells for 2200 rubles. Beneficial to all except those who extract the gold,” – said the Chairman of the Union of prospectors of Russia.
What is the interest of the Magadan region and other regions in lobbying for this law, the interlocutor did not speak.
“I know that the President and the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation addresses the Governor of the Magadan region. And why he says it, it must the Governor to ask. It hurts because 40 people find work? Then it is better to start a new field. Then thousands of people will get a job and start earning money”, – stated the interlocutor.