At the meeting on investment in geological exploration in 2017, representatives of mining companies Alrosa and Norilsk Nickel offered to the Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Donskoy to simplify the procedure for extending the boundaries of license sites, the newspaper Vedomosti wrote on Thursday, with reference to the market participants and representative of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
As Donskoy reported to the edition, mining at great depths requires study, including in terms of security.
The issue of the works at great depths of new deposits was solved back in 2012, now it concerns mainly old fields, licenses for which the companies either inherited from the Soviet era, or received in the early '90s, Donskoy reported. However, the old development licenses have clear limitations on drilling areas and reserves, which are available for the development, the last factor limits the depth, and it’s very difficult to put new reserves on the old deposit’s balance.
The reserves of Alrosa and Norilsk Nickel at the operated deposits are reduced, the companies actively invest in geological exploration: in 2016, Norilsk Nickel plans to spend 1.1 billion rubles on the search for new mineral resources, Alrosa - 4.8 billion rubles (they already funded 0.8 billion and 3.4 billion, respectively), the newspaper informs. In 2017, the cost of Norilsk Nickel will be higher - 2.5 billion rubles. In 2016, the growth in the Alrosa’s reserves will amount, according to the company’s estimates, 50.4 million carats, Norilsk Nickel’s ones - 96.5 million tons of ore with 253.3 thousand tons of nickel, 310.6 thousand tons of copper and 421.4 tons of platinum group metals.
Donskoy also added that the Ministry of Natural Resources planned to permit to modify the boundaries of the existing subsoil areas by including the overlying horizons and flanks of deposits, as well as the issuance of new licenses for them on application principle.