Russia's Natural ResourcesMinistry on Tuesday extended until June 11 a deadline for accepting bids forthe rights to a huge Siberian copper field, saying potential bidders neededmore time to prepare documents.
Rosnedra, the federalsubsoil agency within the ministry, said in a separate statement the contestfor the Udokan deposit would now take place on Aug. 14, nearly a month laterthan the July 17 contest that had originally been planned.
Neither the ministry norits subdivision said whether any bids had already been made for the field, oneof only two untapped metals deposits large enough to be declaredstrategic by the government. The other is the Sukhoi Log goldfield.
Udokan, in the Chita region of eastern Siberia, will require investment of around$1.6 billion, the ministry said. It will be able to produce 187,000 tonnes ofcopper annually, equivalent to 15 percent of Russia's total copper production today.
Russian billionaire OlegDeripaska, state railway monopoly Russian Railways and mining giant NorilskNickel
Russian media reported lastmonth state conglomerate Russian Technologies, whose wide-ranging assetportfolio includes titanium producer VSMPO Avisma
(Reporting by PolinaDevitt, writing by Aleksandras Budrys; editing by Chris Johnson)
(c) Reuters 2008. All rightsreserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including bycaching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the priorwritten consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registeredtrademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.