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Russian, Canadian firms agree gold mining venture in Yakutia

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MOSCOW, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Polyus Zoloto and Canada's Kinross Gold Corporation signed on Monday an agreement on joint gold exploration in Eastern Siberia.

The protocol calls for a joint Russian-Canadian venture to develop the Nezhdaninskoye deposit in Yakutia (Sakha). Polyus Zoloto is Russia's largest gold mining corporation and Canada's Kinross is the third largest gold mining company in North America. The Canadian company also owns the rights to the Kupol deposit in Russia's Far Eastern republic of Chukotka.

Polyus Zoloto's general director, Yevgeny Ivanov, said the technical and financial cost of getting the project started is estimated at $10 million, which the Canadian partners took on themselves.

Ivanov said the total amount of investment needed for the project would be around $1 billion.

If the project fulfills its full potential, a complex with a production capacity of 12 tons of gold per year will be constructed, Ivanov said, adding that this would be possible "if energy and infrastructure issues are resolved."

Kinross Gold Corporation was founded in 1993 and has operations in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Chile and Russia.

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