Igor Altushkin was left without money for Tominsky GOK

After Vladimir Putin's statement, not a single bank will finance the scandalous project of the owner of the Russian Copper Company.
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There is one story that managed to unite such different people as Vladimir Putin and Alexei Navalny. This is Tominsky GOK, whose project is being implemented by the Russian Copper Company (RMK) Igor Altushkin in the vicinity of Chelyabinsk. Alexei Navalny, who makes a tour of Russian cities, usually collects a very small number of people for his events. But in Chelyabinsk he was in for a resounding success: at least six thousand people came to the rally. Most of them were opponents of Tominsky GOK. In response to this support, the ardent tribune promised the audience to bury the GOK project, which he called stupid and non-working.

President on the wire

Oppositionist Alexei Navalny, despite the relative success in Chelyabinsk, still hopelessly late with his threats, promises and assessments. All the cream in history with the GOK was lifted by the Russian president: being in Chelyabinsk on November 9 in a company with Nursultan Nazarbayev at the forum of interregional cooperation between Russia and Kazakhstan, he decided to personally call the leader of the public movement "Stop GOK" lawyer Vasily Moscots. Unexpected was not only the very fact of the call, but also its content, the recording of which the activist posted on the network.

Vladimir Putin actually held Vasily Moscots. And in response to the fact that the activist called the situation that developed around Tominsky GOK, catastrophic, he just corrected it, calling it bad. One can only guess what feelings the owner of the "Russian Copper Company" experienced at the same time
Igor Altushkin. It is not excluded that at that moment the copper oligarch remembered how in July 2008 another owner of Chelyabinsk assets, Igor Zyuzin, was severely criticized by then premier Vladimir Putin, who promised to send him "doctors". Zyuzin received a "blow of monstrous power" then, and despite the subsequent support rendered to him by the state, he actually went bankrupt.

Before Igor Altushkin loom very sad prospects. But recently they looked completely different. Back in July 2017, the chairman of the board of directors of the RMK Igor Altushkin, presenting his company at the stand of the exhibition "Innoprom" in Yekaterinburg, personally told Vladimir Putin, as well as a group of federal ministers about the prospects of "smart copper". And as an example, presented Mikheevsky ore mining and processing enterprise (GOK). On the next day of the exhibition, in a solemn atmosphere, the Minister of Industry and Trade of Russia, Denis Manturov, launched the start of the development of the Tominskoye field. Photographs of this moment were reproduced in an unprecedented amount in all media resources of the country.

Against this background, the results of another meeting between Altushkin and Putin and the ministers, which took place on November 18 in the Crimea at the opening of the monument to Alexander III, look quite different. Igor Altushkin, financing the creation of the monument, did this, apparently, not only from the desire to please the authorities. The copper oligarch is considered a sincere admirer of Orthodoxy and nationality - the ideology on which the emperor built the welfare of the Russian empire. But in the end, no federal media did not report that Igor Altushkin was at the event. This was done in his telegram channel by political scientist Yevgeny Minchenko, and then a photo from the site was published by Novye Izvestia, a site of a long-closed paper newspaper.

How did Igor Altushkin manage to precipitate rapidly from the position of the "copper strategist" enlightening the president in a few months to the level of a phantom creation? The simplest explanation is the change in the attitude of the Kremlin towards the leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, who publicly announced his desire to leave his post. In a situation where the country is preparing for presidential elections, such a statement can be regarded as an ultimatum.

The hostage of the governor

The fact is that Igor Altushkin is considered a person close to the Chechen leadership (although Tominsky GOK has more close friends). The project of Tominsky Ore Mining and Processing Plant started in 2007, when the Russian Copper Company began to conduct a study of copper ore deposits near the village of Tominskiy, 25 kilometers from Chelyabinsk. The Tominsky copper deposit itself was discovered back in 1957, but for some reason (apparently weighty) it was not developed. Igor Altushkin's case did not work either.

It is believed that the main cause of the fiasco was the campaign of opponents GOKa in September 2015: the site change.org was collected 103 thousand signatures under an appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin with a request to stop the project. On another, more mundane version, in fact the problem was the departure from the post of Chelyabinsk Region Governor Mikhail Yurevich, who not only supported the construction of GOK, but also promoted it in every way to bypass public opinion. Now many public figures are sure that if Igor Altushkin was more attentive to the public, he would have succeeded in pushing his investment project without special difficulties. In fact, the copper oligarch became a hostage to cabinet arrangements. In January 2014, Mikhail Yurevich resigned, and three years later, after the Investigative Committee instituted criminal proceedings against the ex-governor for bribes, it became clear that the support of the governor could not be entirely disinterested.

As a result, the epoch of endless postponement of launch began. In August 2015, Tominsky GOK's General Director Valery Ulanovsky announced that the first phase of the Tominsky Ore Mining and Processing Enterprise (TGOK) will be launched in November 2017. At full capacity, the plant, according to the plans for 2015, should come out only in 2019. But in 2017, instead of starting production, a new forecast was made. According to the press service of the company, production will begin in 2018, and at full capacity the enterprise will be released, presumably, in 2022.

Ecology, political factors, the departure of the governor is, of course, serious. But a ten-year delay with the launch of the enterprise should be explained by something else. Most likely it is a simple economy.

The owners of the copper mountains

At the moment, four large copper projects have appeared in Russia at a low start: Bystrinsky GOK (the main owner of Norilsk Nickel), Tominsky GOK (RMK Igor Altushkina), Udokan (Metalloinvest Alisher Usmanov) and Peschanka (Millhouse of Roman Abramovich). All of them, as we see, have serious and quite efficient owners, made investments for decades of stable high incomes. On the basic parameters, all four projects are approximately the same. Except one, which divides the group into two unequal parts. Three mining and concentration plants are located in remote areas from the infrastructure and consumers: for the implementation of these projects, according to the expert community, state assistance is required. And only one has a colossal competitive advantage. This Tominsky GOK Igor Altushkin, located near Chelyabinsk.

Thus, the current environmental wave around the new project of the "Russian Copper Company" acquires a completely market origin. But to write off all misadventures on the intrigues of competitors would be wrong. For all their desire, they could not invent a problem for Igor Altushkin. The copper oligarch created them himself.

Thus, at the first stage of the project's promotion, the RMK planned to use the site site itself as a tailing dump (waste production and primary processing). The company just wanted to save even at the close location of the place of utilization of toxic waste. But in this case the sulfuric acid production was near the Shershenevsky reservoir. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the local people rebelled. Then the company had to agree to the transfer of dehydrated tailings to 14 kilometers, for this it is necessary to cut down the forest, against which the group of Vasily Moscots is already protesting.

The result of all these adjustments is the increase in costs. Extremely profitable investment at first does not seem like this anymore: it turned out to be poorly calculated. According to the latest estimates of the company, the amount of capital expenditures for the construction of GOK is more than 65 billion rubles. And in October 2013 they were estimated at 44.4 billion rubles. This is a very serious disagreement when the business plans of such projects are being set for very optimistic copper market scenarios for three decades ahead. Although some technological alternative to copper wire may appear much earlier.

According to experts from the industry, there is simply no money from Igor Altushkin for the Tominskoye field. RMK was able to attract in December 2016 a loan from a syndicate of six banks for $ 300 million for a period of five years to refinance the current debt and current operating and investment costs. "At present, we are in the final stage of negotiations with several credit organizations and in the very near future we are planning to determine the partner bank," the press service of the RMK promised.

And then the call of Vladimir Putin to the public was held, where the president defined the project's prospects as bad. It would be interesting to see that bank, which now decided to give Igor Altushkin in debt to Tomino GOK.