Yulia Goncharenko, Director of the Department of State Regulation of the Gem and Precious Metals Industry of the Ministry of Finance of Russia
Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA
At the Russia-Africa Forum, Yulia Goncharenko, Director of the Department for State Regulation of the Gems and Precious Metals Industry of the Ministry of Finance of Russia, visited the open studio of Radio Komsomolskaya Pravda, where she spoke about plans to develop relations of Russia. with African countries in the field of mining and processing of precious metals and stones.
FOCUS ON MAXIMUM BENEFITS
– Yulia Alexandrovna, of course, Russia and Africa have many points of contact in the sphere of precious metals and precious stones. Because our countries are known as one of the largest miners of both gold and precious metals on the planet. What cooperation can there be here, what common interests do we have?
– Russia and Africa have many natural resources. First of all, cooperation consists in the fact that we, like the Russian Federation, are ready to provide assistance to African countries and explain how to achieve the maximum flow of financing in the economy from the extraction of gold and precious stones. . For many years, Russia has been faced with the uncontrolled export of natural resources, but in recent years we have focused as much as possible on state control of raw materials and their processing so that added value is formed in Russia. At the level of Russian federal legislation, it is prescribed that minerals must be processed on the territory of our country.
We are evaluating raw materials that we cannot or are not economically profitable to process in Russia and are looking for partners in other countries for which deep processing can be a growth point. The African partners are precisely the hostages of the fact that they extract minerals that are exported without bringing any income to the country. We are ready to share the accumulated Russian technologies and specialists, which also form the added value of raw materials. That is, you can have all the resources, but if there are no competent specialists who understand how to mine them correctly and get the maximum benefit, unfortunately, none of the countries will benefit.
Therefore, we offer our African partners to send their specialists to Russia. We have training programs for both specialists and students receiving basic education in the field of geological exploration, cutting and processing of precious metals. There are 10 refineries in our country, the quality of the ingots they produce has always been recognized throughout the world.
Colleagues are already receiving feedback on our proposals regarding the exchange of experiences. All this is done in order to properly debug production processes. Production must be organized not only in the interest of individual companies, but also in the interest of the country. People need to understand so many useful natural resources, it’s not just about precious metals. Since during mining you can also come across associated metals, which are sometimes more expensive than those metals that are recognized as precious. The income from such industries should be distributed as much as possible within the country, or funds should be formed to ensure the economic security of the countries.
SANCTIONS FORCED RESTRUCTURING
– Tell us about the last years for the jewelry industry in Russia. Have jewelry exporters managed to overcome or mitigate the effects of sanctions, what is happening in the domestic market?
– As you understand, we are undergoing constant restructuring in all spheres of life in order to meet the challenges facing not only Russia, but the whole world. The COVID-19 pandemic has at some point seen a decline in jewelry production and consumption. Of course, jewelry is not essential, it is still a luxury item. But we have restructured our state regulation as much as possible to help maintain our position in the market. With the introduction of sanctions, certain markets have been closed to us, but we are opening new ones. We are trying to understand what kind of jewelry may be of interest to consumers in countries that are ready to cooperate as much as possible with Russia.
If we talk about the current state of the jewelry industry and rely on figures, they show an increase in production and consumption.
Legislation is a living organism that is constantly changing. For example, last year the simplified tax system for the production and sale of jewelry was canceled. Naturally, these changes affected the market in a certain way. But it will probably be possible to draw conclusions only at the end of 2023, after receiving all the statistical data, not only on tax revenue, but also partly from the register kept by the Federal Assay Office.
– One more question, it concerns the position of Russian gold miners. How stable is it now?
– Gold is now under sanctions, so of course we see a restructuring of this area. But such a forced restructuring prompted us to make those changes that we have been talking about for many years. This is the creation of a civilized domestic market for precious metals and ensuring the investment attractiveness of precious metals. Also, logistics chains are changing, financial institutions are changing. So, yes, the challenges have been received and we will address them.