The Russian Industry and Trade Ministry may ban exports of ores and concentrates of non-ferrous metals as well as scrap and waste of precious metals from May 1 through October 31.
The draft ruling’s note said that the capacities of the Russian precious metals refineries were loaded by less than 30% in 2018, while revenue from exports of scrap and waste of precious metals soared to $347 million in 2017 from $168 million in 2015, and might have exceeded $400 million in 2018.
The ministry also listed Kazakhstan as an example, where the authorities approved a bill that granted national precious metals refineries a priority right for refining raw metals.
Unofficially, representatives of precious metals producers said that they were skeptical about the idea. The draft ruling’s goal was non-transparent, and the economic impact of the measure was not calculated, a source said, while another source said that this would not boost loading of capacities but would hurt gold producers.
The Union of Russian Gold Producers has already sent a letter to Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov asking for additional meetings to discuss the issue.
The union’s Chairman Sergei Kashuba said that the industry thought that it had passed peak exports of concentrate of non-ferrous metals in 2018, and it would fall simultaneously with the launch of new refining capacities. At the same time, the union thinks that Russia should continue exports of gold-antimony concentrate to China, he said. (Prime/Ukrainian metal)