Moscow, Nov 21 (UNI) The State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, today in the second and third readings passed a bill abolishing the state monopoly over the exports of platinum.
Russia is the world's second-largest platinum producer after South Africa.
Under the current legislation, Russian companies exporting platinum and platinum group metals carry out operations through the state-owned Almazjuvelirexport trade association.
However, the State Duma ruled that the current platinum trade scheme violates Russian anti-monopoly legislation and contradicts the existing global exchange trade system, weakening as a result Russian platinum producers' positions on world markets.
After the liquidation of Almazjuvelirexport, state control over platinum exports would be ensured through the existing tariff regulation system, as well export licensing procedures and state and customs control.
Leading Russian business daily Kommersant said Russia had begun developing major new platinum deposits for the first time since the Soviet era.
Reserves at the Kievei field on north Russia's Kola Peninsula have been estimated at up to 250 metric tons, the paper said.
Earlier, Forbes said that Russian platinum supplies were due to decline this year, to 855,000 ounces in comparison to 910,000 ounces in 2007.
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