GORKI, July 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian government plans to allocate around 320 billion rubles for geological exploration and recharge of mineral resources base by 2020, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev told the cabinet meeting on Thursday.
“This is big money, and we are expecting good feedback, as the geological exploration will concentrate in truly promising regions, where chances for big and rich minefield discoveries are higher”, he said.
According to statistical data, presented at the meeting, over 32 billion rubles from the federal budget was spent on geo-exploration works in 2013. This year, the government plans to spend a little more - around 35 billion.
“As far as oil and gas are concerned, from 2005 till now the annual level of minefields’ exploration is bigger than their development level. We need to reach alike levels regarding other mineral resources as well”, Medvedev said.
Russia’s Prime Minister said that new minefields are being explored mostly in traditional regions, rich in mineral resources. However, he does not eliminate the possibility of surprise minefields in other areas.
“The time of cheap and easy-to-reach resources has gone in the past, for Russia has been exploring natural resources for hundreds of years already. This is why all the capital-output capacity of the new projects in the area is constantly growing as they demand more efforts and inputs”, he added.
Russia lags behind highly-industrialized economies in efficient and environment-friendly use of mineral resources because of outdated production and processing technology, Medvedev said.
“The quality of deposits is worsening, infrastructure poses problems, and all these costs are limiting profitability of most mining enterprises and whole industries. The appeal for investors is going downhill,” Medvedev said.