State ready to allow foreigners to develop mineral deposits

Top level talks in Minsk with the Head of Boulle Mining Group, Jean-Raymond Boulle, focus on possible investments into geological exploration and mineral extraction in Belarus

By Vladimir Vasiliev

Born in Mauritius, Jean-Raymond Boulle is a British citizen, though residing in Monaco. The British media call him a multimillionaire, with assets standing at several hundred million Pounds. Boulle Mining Group’s Internet site reads that the group of companies headed by Mr. Boulle develops deposits of nickel, diamonds and titanic ore in Canada, Brazil, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Liberia, Madagascar, Zambia and the Congo.

Boulle Mining Group first showed interest in Belarus last year. During the recent Minsk meeting, the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, noted that he has studied all proposals carefully, saying, “We are interested in co-operation, the latest technologies and large scale capital investments.” He stressed that Belarus is keen to focus on developing its natural resources. “It seems to me that we don’t know the scale of our assets,” he said. Partners from Boulle Mining Group could help us discover what awaits us beneath the earth.

Besides mineral extraction, the President has invited the foreign investors to develop deposits. Mr. Lukashenko stressed that Belarus, jointly with Russia and Canada, boasts the world’s largest deposits of potassium salt. Mining is underway at one of three open deposits in the country: Starobinsky. Oktyabrsky and Petrikovsky remain under development and the President is ready to allow Boulle Mining Group access.

“As far as I know, you boast a spotless reputation worldwide,” emphasised the President, asserting that Belarus is ready to partner companies ‘able to immediately get down to work rather than merely make promises’. “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,” Mr. Lukashenko explained. “We’d like our agreements to be concrete and scheduled in a business-like manner — as is usual for large businesses.”

Mr. Boulle complimented the country and the President and noted his regret that he was not a journalist, able ‘to describe’ everything achieved in Belarus in recent years. Mr. Boulle stressed that wisely organised mining extraction could be a source of prosperity for the country. After the journalists had departed, the guest shared concrete ideas with the President.

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