THE DRY GULCH IS STILL DRY – NO ACTION ON SUKHOI LOG GOLD

MOSCOW –

A press statement this week from the southeastern Siberian town of Irkutsk revived hopes that Russia’s El Dorado, and one of the world’s largest unmined gold deposits, may be about to go on the market.

Sukhoi Log (“Dry Gulch”in Russian), according to Nikolai Suslov, deputy head of the Irkutsk region agency for natural resources (Irkutsknedra), may be put up for public auction “ïn the next few months” — “by the end of 2007, or the beginning of 2008”. Suslov’s timing was initially reported by Interfax, and then Bloomberg picked up the story. The full report of Suslov’s remarks indicate that his focus was on two relatively minor prospecting licences to be put on the block in September and October — the Isko-Tagulsky nickel prospect, and the Uryahsky gold deposit.
(more…)

ARMENIAN GOVERNMENT ACCELERATES MOVE AGAINST VEDANTA’S STERLITE GOLD

MOSCOW –

The Armenian government ordered prosecutors last week to put a stop to an attempt by the Vedanta group in London to auction off its rights to the Zod gold mine to the highest bidder.

Two weeks ago, following six months of investigation, the Armenian prosecutor’s office in Yerevan went to court on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources, to seek a ruling to revoke the Zod licence, which has been held since 1998 by Vedanta’s Canadian-listed subsidiary, Sterlite Gold (ticker SGD). The judge deferred his ruling on the procedural ground that the due diligence, which had been undertaken by the prosecutor’s office since January, lacked the appropriate order from the government. The Armenian prime ministry then arranged for the ministerial resolution to be drafted and issued, and an accelerated investigation has already begun.
(more…)

RUSAL PRESENTS METALS ANALYSTS WITH A PRICING PUZZLE

MOSCOW –

One of the oldest friends of Rusal owner, Oleg Deripaska, still calls him by the nickname, zaichik; that’s Russian for hare. The surname of Alexander Bulygin, Rusal’s chief executive, suggests the Russian for a cobble-stone (bulizhnik), but nobody calls him that for short.

The ancient fabulist Aesop didn’t think well of either hares or stones. He composed almost no fables with the former, and in those, the hare is too arrogant, or stupid, to avoid getting beaten, or eaten. As for stones, to Aesop they meant misfortune. Aesop’s animals have plenty to say about that. The hare he made immortal was the one who was out-run by a tortoise.

The big question for United Company Rusal, and its promoters, is whether the hare can carry the stone, or vice versa, across the finishing line represented by the first public sale of shares, due in four months’ time. There are already hints from the Rusal camp that they have begun arguing with each other over what’s best for getting there. That they are unable to agree is evident from the most recent series of presentations of Rusal, which Bulygin led for analysts of leading international banks in Boston, New York, Frankfurt, and London. Other presenters included Vladislav Soloviev, the chief financial officer; Oleg Mukhamedshin head of capital markets; Artem Volynets, head of strategy and development; and Valery Matvienko, head of engineering and construction. They spoke from a presentation kit running to 33 pages of colour slides, which have been obtained by Mineweb.
(more…)

GALVANISING VALUE – RUSSIA’S ZINC PLAYERS HIT THE STAGE

MOSCOW –

A man without enough zinc is likely to suffer from a loss of taste, smell, hair, and sexual arousal. It’s the zinc in oysters that is one reason, at least, for their popular association with libido.

For miners of the bluish-white metal, however, global insufficiency is proving to be very good for business. Although it is one of the most abundant of the minerals buried in the earth’s crust, and one of the most common in metal applications, the scarcity of zinc can be blamed on the Chinese – and not because they think its libidinal value is as good as rhinoceros horn, or tiger’s tooth. In the year 2000, China’s share of global zinc consumption was 15%. Five years later, it had risen to 27%, dwarfing everyone else. Annual growth in Chinese demand was 20% between 2003 and 2005, 13% in 2006, and 9% in 2007.

Total global consumption of zinc (refined) this year is estimated to be 12 million tonnes. Mine and smelter supply looks like reaching 11.86 million tonnes, roughly matching demand. But the three past years of deficit of supply have caused a halving of estimated zinc stocks, including London Metal Exchange (LME) measured stocks.
(more…)

PLAYING PONZI TO PAY PAVEL – WHAT TRAJECTORY FOR RUSSIAN GOLD MINERS

MOSCOW –

Charles Ponzi, an Italian immigrant to Boston, gave his name to a scheme in which he promised a 50% return to investors within 45 days of their giving him money; or double their money within 90 days. About 40,000 people invested $15 million in 1920 dollars; today that would sum to $150 million.

In essence, the Ponzi scheme pays initial investors their return out of funds subscribed by those who follow, until the market gets wind; there are no new subscriptions to pay claims; and the scheme collapses. From Ponzi, only a third got their cash back.

Junior gold miners can promise something similar; but usually not quite so quickly; and sometimes more reliably.
(more…)

CHERNEY AND PUTIN TO THE RESCUE OF RUSSIAN ALUMINIUM

By John Helmer in Moscow

Insomniacs count sheep to get off to sleep, but after that, dreams come plentiful and cheap.

When Oleg Deripaska lays his head on the pillow these summer evenings, wishful thinking appears to have led him to a colossal miscalculation. Even worse, Deripaska appears to have been dozing, when he made two catastrophic statements to a London financial newspaper this week. They have undermined, perhaps fatally, Deripaska’s ambition to vault over the latest of the consolidations by Rio Tinto and Alcan, in order to strike an eventual deal with Xstrata or Alcoa.

The statements lie, like depth-charges, under what was intended to be the Financial Times’s profile of best business practice in the history of the Russian aluminium sector. Deripaska spoke explicitly on the two topics, which his lawyers and investment bankers have repeatedly cautioned him to avoid. They were the two great unmentionables at the briefing for investment bank analysts, arranged by JP Morgan in London, on June 29. But in London, as in the preceding sessions in Frankfurt, New York and Boston, they were recognized as the two prime investor risks, which have been deterring almost all the bankers from recommending a main-board London Stock Exchange (LSE) listing for United Company Rusal – in which Deripaska owns the controlling stake of 66%.

Call them the Cherney and the Putin risks.
(more…)

BULLDOGS BITING GOLD BUGS AT OVOCA, HIGHLAND GOLD?

By John Helmer in Moscow

Gold raiders may be pushing gold mining asset holders on to the defensive in Russian Fareast

When Winston Churchill tried to express his ignorance of how Russians conduct their affairs, he famously referred to bulldogs fighting under a rug. These days, in the Russian gold mining sector, the bulldogs are hard at it again, but the rug has slipped off –well, let’s say half-off.

There are asset raids under way, driving share prices down, for Ovoca in Magadan region; and Highland Gold in Chukotka. Ovoca and Highland are both listed on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM); Ovoca is also listed in Ireland.

The conflicts over their assets have also spilled over into investigations of regional and federal officials alleged to have taken sides, possibly corruptly. One of the allegations being aired publicly is that regional mine licence inspectors are not enforcing mandatory licence deadlines to produce gold from deposits under development.
(more…)

RUSSIAN OIL SUPPLY THREAT – EUROPE CAN’T CHOOSE BETWEEN MORE OR LESS

By John Helmer in Moscow

Talk of oil supply crunch intensifies price threat as Russian output tips and additional export markets beckon.

Russian oil producers have been losing oil output at Russia’s onshore fields since February of this year, and a combination of tax, investment, and technical factors has led to a forecast of “dire straits”, according to a new report by Moscow’s Alfa Bank.

But these straits appear to be deeper and direr for oil consumers, than for Russia as a producer; especially since new oilfield developments are likely to swing the direction of oilfield growth in the direction of China. Korea, and Japan.
(more…)

RUSAL ALUMINIUM IPO BRIEFING HELD IN SECRET AS PROBLEMS SURFACE

By John Helmer in Moscow

Russian aluminium giant, Rusal has held a secret briefing at London’s Skinners’ Hall for its London IPO investors .

When Gioacchino Rossini, the 19th century opera composer, had grown famous and rich, he was told that a group of his admirers were collecting the equivalent of $50,000 to erect a statue to celebrate him. Rossini responded: “Give me the money, and I’ll stand on the pedestal myself.”

Rossini came from humble origins; his father was a slaughterhouse inspector, his mother a baker’s daughter. He had made himself wealthy enough, and his career assured, by the age of 32; he stopped writing music for money five years later. But the problem of cash for the self-made rich is that they never feel secure without more of it coming in.

The problem of Oleg Deripaska and Victor Vekselberg — the two Russians who made themselves very rich in a short time by mining and smelting some of the world’s largest volumes of bauxite and aluminium — is that, like Rossini, they believe the only cure for nerves is cash. But unlike Rossini, they haven’t the public reputation to stand on a pedestal. Since an Initial Public Offering (IPO) is the London market’s equivalent of a statue on a pedestal, and the investor cash at stake runs into several billion dollars, the reputational risk of the pedestal is now the subject of extraordinary measures.
(more…)

ALROSA MAKES TENTATIVE DIAMOND MARKET MOVES

By John Helmer in Moscow

Alrosa is retrieving its diamond market positions after initial misstatements by new CEO

Alrosa, the Russian diamond miner with the largest share of the global rough diamonds market after De Beers, is reconsidering its international market strategy, and correcting several misstatements by its newly appointed chief executive, Sergei Vybornov.

Veteran international representative for Alrosa, Sergei Uhlin, announced in Amsterdam last week that the company has no intention of withdrawing its European Court of Justice case against a ruling by the European Commission to cancel Alrosa’s diamond trade with De Beers at the end of next year. Uhlin added that, not only is Alrosa confident of winning its appeal; but that if it wins, and the EC trade order is revoked, Alrosa will not necessarily decide to renew its trade with De Beers. “We are challenging our rights in principle, regardless of what we’re going to do,” Uhlin is quoted as saying. A spokesman for the company told Mineweb that Uhlin’s remarks have been correctly reported, and reflect company strategy.
(more…)

RED HAS TURNED YELLOW – THE GREEK AND CYPRIOT COMMUNISTS ARE FLYING A DIFFERENT FLAG IN THE UKRAINE WAR



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Ukraine war is splitting the communist parties of Europe between those taking the US side, and those on the Russian side.

In an unusual public criticism of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and of smaller communist parties in Europe which have endorsed the Greek criticism of Russia for waging an “imperialist” war against the Ukraine, the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) has responded this week with a 3,300-word declaration:  “The military conflict in Ukraine,” the party said, “cannot be described as an imperialist war, as our comrades would argue. It is essentially a national liberation war of the people of Donbass. From Russia’s point of view it is a struggle against an external threat to national security and against Fascism.”

By contrast, the Russian communists have not bothered to send advice, or air public criticism of the Cypriot communists and their party, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). On March 2, AKEL issued a communiqué “condemn[ing] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukrainian territories….[and] stresses that the Russian Federation’s action in recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions constitutes a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states.”

 To the KPRF in Moscow the Cypriots are below contempt; the Greeks are a fraction above it.

A Greek-Cypriot veteran of Cypriot politics and unaffiliated academic explains: “The Cypriot communists do not allow themselves to suffer for what they profess to believe. Actually, they are a misnomer. They are the American party of the left in Cyprus, just as [President Nikos] Anastasiades is the American party of the right.” As for the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza – with 85 seats of the Greek parliament’s 300, the leading party of the opposition – the KKE (with 15 seats), and Yanis Varoufakis of MeRA25 (9 seats), the source adds: “The communists are irrelevant in Europe and in the US, except in the very narrow context of Greek party politics.”

(more…)

IF IT SMELLS ALLURING, IT’S RUSSIAN – IN WARTIME L’ORÉAL (FRANCE) AND ESTÉE LAUDER (US) MAKE A BAD SMELL



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The war plan of the US and the European allies is destroying the Russian market for traditional French perfumes, the profits of the French and American conglomerates which own the best-known brands, the bonuses of their managers, and the dividends of their shareholders. The odour  of these losses is too strong for artificial fresheners.

Givaudan, the Swiss-based world leader in production and supply of fragrances, oils and other beauty product ingredients, has long regarded the Russian market as potentially its largest in Europe; it is one of the fastest growing contributors to Givaudan’s profit worldwide. In the recovery from the pandemic of Givaudan’s Fragrance and Beauty division – it accounts for almost half the company’s total sales — the group reported “excellent double-digit growth in 2021, demonstrating strong consumer demand for these product categories.”    Until this year, Givaudan reveals in its latest financial report, the growth rate for Russian demand was double-digit – much faster than the  6.3% sales growth in Europe overall; faster growth than in Germany, Belgium and Spain.    

Between February 2014, when the coup in Kiev started the US war against Russia, and last December, when the Russian non-aggression treaties with the US and NATO were rejected,   Givaudan’s share price jumped three and a half times – from 1,380 Swiss francs to 4,792 francs; from a company with a market capitalisation of 12.7 billion francs ($12.7 billion) to a value of 44.2 billion francs ($44.2 billion). Since the fighting began in eastern Ukraine this year until now, Givaudan has lost 24% of that value – that’s $10 billion.  

The largest of Givaudan’s shareholders is Bill Gates. With his 14%, plus the 10% controlled by Black Rock of New York and MFS of Boston, the US has effective control over the company.

Now, according to the US war sanctions, trade with Russia and the required payment systems have been closed down, alongside the bans on the importation of the leading European perfumes. So in place of the French perfumers, instead of Givaudan, the Russian industry is reorganizing for its future growth with its own perfume brands manufactured from raw materials produced in Crimea and other regions, or supplied by India and China. Givaudan, L’Oréal (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent), Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci), LVMH (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy), Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clarins – they have all cut off their noses to spite the Russian face.

(more…)

THE WAR AGAINST FOOD – WHO IS TO BLAME



By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

This week President Joseph Biden stopped at an Illinois farm to say he’s going to help the  Ukraine ship 20 million tonnes of wheat and corn out of storage into export, thereby relieving  grain shortages in the international markets and lowering bread prices around the world.  Biden was trying to play a hand in which his cards have already been clipped. By Biden.  

The first Washington-Kiev war plan for eastern Ukraine has already lost about 40% of the Ukrainian wheat fields, 50% of the barley, and all of the grain export ports. Their second war plan to hold the western region defence lines with mobile armour, tanks, and artillery  now risks the loss of the corn and rapeseed crop as well as the export route for trucks to Romania and Moldova. What will be saved in western Ukraine will be unable to grow enough to feed its own people. They will be forced to import US wheat, as well as US guns and the money to pay for both.

Biden told his audience that on the Delaware farms he used to represent in the US Senate “there are more chickens than there are Americans.”  Blaming the Russians is the other card Biden has left.  

(more…)

EXILE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The problem with living in exile is the meaning of the word. If you’re in exile, you mean you are forever looking backwards, in geography as well as in time. You’re not only out of place; you’re out of time — yesterday’s man.

Ovid, the Roman poet who was sent into exile from Rome by Caesar Augustus, for offences neither Augustus nor Ovid revealed, never stopped looking back to Rome. His exile, as Ovid described it, was “a barbarous coast, inured to rapine/stalked ever by bloodshed, murder, war.” In such a place or state, he said, “writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.”

The word itself, exsilium in Roman law, was the sentence of loss of citizenship as an alternative to loss of life, capital punishment. It meant being compelled to live outside Rome at a location decided by the emperor. The penalty took several degrees of isolation and severity. In Ovid’s case, he was ordered by Augustus to be shipped to the northeastern limit of the Roman empire,  the Black Sea town called Tomis; it is now Constanta, Romania. Ovid’s last books, Tristia (“Sorrows”) and Epistulae ex Ponto (“Black Sea Letters”), were written from this exile, which began when he was 50 years old, in 8 AD, and ended when he died in Tomis nine years year later, in 17 AD.  

In my case I’ve been driven into exile more than once. The current one is lasting the longest. This is the one from Moscow, which began with my expulsion by the Foreign Ministry on September 28, 2010.  The official sentence is Article 27(1) of the law No. 114-FZ — “necessary for the purposes of defence capability or security of the state, or public order, or protection of health of the population.” The reason, a foreign ministry official told an immigration service official when they didn’t know they were being overheard, was: “Helmer writes bad things about Russia.”

(more…)

IN THE FOG OF WAR THERE’S THE GUTERRES CERTAINTY AND THE CADIEU CERTAINTY – GORILLA RADIO SEES THROUGH THE COVER-UP



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), who attempted last month  to arrange the escape from Russian capture of Ukrainian soldiers and NATO commanders,  knowing they had committed war crimes. He was asked to explain; he refuses.   

Trevor Cadieu is a Canadian lieutenant-general who was appointed the chief of staff and head of the Canadian Armed Forces last August; was stopped in September; retired from the Army this past April, and went to the Ukraine, where he is in hiding. From whom he is hiding – Canadians or Russians – where he is hiding, and what he will say to explain are questions Cadieu isn’t answering, yet.

(more…)

DID UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES COMMIT A WAR CRIME AT AZOVSTAL?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is refusing this week to answer questions on the role he played in the recent attempt by US, British, Canadian and other foreign combatants to escape the bunkers under the Azovstal plant, using the human shield of civilians trying to evacuate.

In Guterres’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on April 26 (lead image), Putin warned Guterres he had been “misled” in his efforts. “The simplest thing”, Putin told Guterres in the recorded part of their meeting, “for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.”  

This war crime has been recognized since 1977 by the UN in Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention.  In US law for US soldiers and state officials, planning to employ or actually using human shields is a war crime to be prosecuted under 10 US Code Section 950t.  

Instead, Guterres ignored the Kremlin warning and the war crime law, and authorized UN officials, together with Red Cross officials,  to conceal what Guterres himself knew of the foreign military group trying to escape. Overnight from New York, Guterres has refused to say what he knew of the military escape operation, and what he had done to distinguish, or conceal the differences between the civilians and combatants in the evacuation plan over the weekend of April 30-May 1.May.

(more…)

THE LAST DITCH IS POLAND – RUSSIA’S PHASE-3 PLAN FOR WESTERN UKRAINE



By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The more western politicians announce pledges of fresh weapons for the Ukraine, the more Russian military analysts explain what options their official sources are considering to destroy the arms before they reach the eastern front, and to neutralize Poland’s role as the NATO  hub for resupply and reinforcement of the last-ditch holdout of western Ukraine.

“I would like to note,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, repeated yesterday, “that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or material means for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction”.  He means the Ukraine border is the red line.

(more…)

THE MATLIN PLOT, THE BROWDER PLOT AND THE NEW YORK TIMES PLOT



By Lucy Komisar,  New York*
  @bears_with

Here’s a story the New York Times has just missed.

US politicians and media pundits are promoting the targeting of “enablers” of Russian oligarchs who stash their money in offshore accounts. A Times article of March 11   highlighted Michael Matlin, CEO of Concord Management as such an “enabler.” But the newspaper missed serious corruption Matlin was involved in. Maybe that’s because Matlin cheated Russia, and also because the Matlin story exposes the William Browder/Sergei Magnitsky hoax aimed at Russia.

(more…)

YELLOW COAL, THE FUEL MADE OUT OF RACE HATRED — MAY DAY MESSAGE FROM SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY, 1939



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.

Called yellow coal, this invention originated with Professor Leker at Harvard University. It was applied, first to running municipal trams, then to army weapons, and finally to cheap electrification of everything from domestic homes and office buildings to factory production lines. In Russian leker means a quack doctor.

The Harvard professor’s idea was to concentrate the neuro-muscular energy people produce when they hate each other.  Generated as bile (yellow), accumulated and concentrated into kinetic spite in machines called myeloabsorberators, Krzhizhanovsky called this globalization process the bilification of society.

(more…)

IS CAESARISM THE PROBLEM, THE SOLUTION, A FANCY DRESS COSTUME, OR A PROPAGANDA CARTOON?



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In imperial history there is nothing new in cases of dementia in rulers attracting homicidal psychopaths to replace them.  It’s as natural as honey attracts bees.

When US President Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke on October 19, 1919, he was partially paralysed and blinded, and was no longer able to feed himself, sign his name, or speak normally; he was not demented.

While his wife and the Navy officer  who was his personal physician concealed his condition, there is no evidence that either Edith Wilson or Admiral Cary Grayson were themselves clinical cases of disability, delusion,  or derangement. They were simply liars driven by the ambition to hold on to the power of the president’s office and deceive everyone who got in their way.  

The White House is always full of people like that. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is meant to put a damper on their homicidal tendencies.

What is unusual, probably exceptional in the current case of President Joseph Biden, not to mention the history of the United States,  is the extent of the president’s personal incapacitation; combined with the clinical evidence of psychopathology in his Secretary of State Antony Blinken;  and the delusional condition of the rivals to replace Biden, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Like Rome during the first century AD, Washington is now in the ailing emperor-homicidal legionary phase.  But give it another century or two, and the madness, bloodshed, and lies of the characters of the moment won’t matter quite as much as their images on display in the museums of their successors craving legitimacy, or of successor powers celebrating their superiority.  

Exactly this has happened to the original Caesars, as a new book by Mary Beard, a Cambridge University professor of classics, explains. The biggest point of her book, she says, is “dynastic succession” – not only of the original Romans but of those modern rulers who acquired the Roman portraits in marble and later copies in paint, and the copies of those copies, with the idea of communicating “the idea of the direct transfer of power from ancient Romans to Franks and on to later German rulers.”

In the case she narrates of the most famous English owner of a series of the “Twelve Caesars”, King Charles I — instigator of the civil war of 1642-51 and the loser of both the war and his head – the display of his Caesars was intended to demonstrate the king’s self-serving “missing link” between his one-man rule and the ancient Romans who murdered their way to rule, and then apotheosized into immortal gods in what they hoped would be a natural death on a comfortable bed.

With the American and Russian successions due to take place in Washington and Moscow in two years’ time, Beard’s “Twelve Caesars, Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern”,  is just the ticket from now to then.

(more…)
Categories
Archives

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Education Template