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Putin's sanctioned ally may win mine with a quarter of Russian gold resources

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Yuliya Fedorinova
Bloomberg News
Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Russia's auction of its giant Sukhoi Log gold field this week pits a long-time ally of President Vladimir Putin against a rival bidder with little background in mining.

The resource in the isolated Irkutsk region of Siberia is one of the world's largest untapped gold fields, making up a quarter of Russian reserves. It has held an allure for miners since Soviet geologists surveyed it in the 1970s. Yet BCS Global Markets strategist Kirill Chuyko and Societe Generale SA analyst Sergey Donskoy say one bidder is an overwhelming favorite to win the sale.

Their bets are on state-owned Rostec Corp., run by Sergey Chemezov, 64, whose relationship with Putin dates to the 1980s. The company has tied up with Russia's biggest miner of the metal, Polyus PJSC. Competition comes from a grouping of state bank VTB and businessman Ibrahim Palankoev. ...

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