Profound issues gain special focus

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko discusses prospects for mastering new potassium salt deposits with Head of Boulle Mining Group, Jean-Raymond Boulle

By Vitaly Volynsky

The Luxembourg-registered Boulle Mining Group has been showing interest in Belarusian deposits since last year. Involved in the mining of nickel, diamonds and titanium ore worldwide, it is now interested in Belarus’ potassium salts.

Mr. Lukashenko met Mr. Boulle in July, outlining his position, “You can make promises but, I’d like to tell you here and now that, if new companies appear, ready to start working tomorrow, we’ll work with them. We’d like our agreements to be concrete and scheduled in a business-like manner.”

It seems Boulle Mining Group promptly reacted to the President’s comment, with its heads recently arriving at his Residence with detailed proposals. Mr. Lukashenko stressed that several investors are already showing interest in developing new potassium salt deposits, explaining the reasons for such enhanced interest, “The market for potassium fertilisers is on the rise. All large market participants say the same thing. Growing consumption and demand for food are contributing to rising fertiliser prices. It’s certainly a very profitable business for our state.”

The President asked Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich — who also attended the meeting — to work promptly with the investors. “Vitally, we must not hamper the process. New deposits should be developed by those investors who propose the best terms,” he said.

A similar focus is being applied to the possible sale of Belaruskali shares. “We’ll sell to those who offer the higher price if we need to sell shares in our major enterprise,” Mr. Lukashenko noted. Speaking of Belaruskali, he added that its assessment has been completed, with Sberbank of Russia confirming its previously announced value of $30bn.

The President is keen to see a single approach applied to all investment projects. “Everything should be honest and open, conducted via tender. The best conditions and the best proposals will be immediately accepted,” he emphasised.

After the meeting, Mr. Boulle noted that the dialogue was constructive, explaining, “We consider that there is a favourable climate for investing in Belarus. Boulle Mining Group is negotiating a multi-billion Dollar project with the Government, to invest in the mining industry.”

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