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Russian Railways halts tender for stake in Elgaugol mine co.

MOSCOW, June 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's railroad monopoly Russian Railways (RZD) said Thursday it had halted a tender for the sale of a 29.495% stake in Elgaugol coal mine development company.

RZD announced a tender for the sale of a stake in Elgaugol and a partially built railroad link to the Elga coal mine located in the Siberian republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in December 2005. In March this year, the tender commission analyzed 10 bids but no winner was declared.

Russian Railways, which has already invested 12.4 billion rubles (about $459 million), said the implementation of a joint agreement between RZD, the government of Yakutia and an investor had been halted due to disagreements between the parties responsible for the project.

"In the past six months, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the government of Yakutia, responsible for the project's implementation, have failed to agree on the development of the Elga coal mine," RZD said in a statement.

RZD also said the railroad monopoly reserved the right to sell the stake in the Elga coal mine with proven reserves of 2.1 billion metric tons of coal and the expected output of 20 million metric tons to an outside investor.

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