Russia's ministry of natural resources has drafted a bill that will facilitate the access of companies with foreign capital to mine its gold, platinum group metals (PGM) and diamond reserves, according to documents published on a ministry website.


Russia lags behind countries such as Canada, Australia and the United States in exploration and development of minerals, Sergei Donskoi, recently named minister of natural resources, has said.


The draft bill would allow foreign-owned businesses to mine deposits of up to 250 tonnes (about 8 million troy ounces) of gold, five times the existing cap of 50 tonnes set in 2008, without facing additional regulation from the state, the documents showed.

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