22 May 2019 16:20

Susumanzoloto may sell Zoloto Kuri in Altai, no major companies interested

BARNAUL. May 22 (Interfax) - CJSC Omchak Gold-Mining Company, which is controlled by OJSC Susumanzoloto , intends to sell its subsidiary Zoloto Kuri ("Gold of Kurya," Altai Territory) and is currently in talks with potential buyers, an informed source told Interfax.

"Talks on sales of the asset together with a license for the development of the Novofirsovskoye deposit are taking place with several companies from the Altai Territory and the Kemerovo region. It's possible that an agreement with one of the interested parties will be signed at the end of the week," the source said.

There are no major goldminers among the potential purchasers, only smaller companies such as LLC Priisk (Kemerovo region), the source said.

"Major investors aren't interested in the asset, since production is in the final stage and gold-containing layers are deposited fairly deep, which creates the need for additional expenses," the source said.

The region's Ministry of Industry and Energy told Interfax that Omchak considers continued development of the Novofirsovskoye deposit, whose remaining reserves total about 2.2 tonnes, insufficiently profitable. Since production began in 2010, 3.5 tonnes have been mined.

"Insufficient funding of the work of Zoloto Kuri to produce and stack ore in the summer and fall of 2018 led to the situation in the winter, when, after production volumes sank below the break-even level, production was halted and debt accumulated, including for salaries. Debt recovery is being carried out by court bailiffs in the context of enforcement proceedings. Bodies under the Prosecutor General's Office are also working on the issue of the non-payment of salaries," the Altai Territory's Minister of Industry and Energy Alexander Klimin said during an online forum on the regional government's website.

The owner of Zoloto Kuri was ordered to pay the wage arrears and decide on measures to stabilize the situation at the company, Klimin said. If it is transferred to a new owner, the latter will be required to continue production and retain personnel.