Press Releases

IFC Supports Sustainable Development in Russia’s Gold Mining Sector

In Washington D.C.
Hannfried von Hindenburg

Phone: (202) 458-5613


In Moscow

Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 095 411 7555 (ext. 2026)


Washington D.C., December 14, 2005 The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is investing up to $39 million to support construction and operation of Russia’s Kupol gold and silver mine. IFC’s financing will support Chukotka Mining and Geological Corporation, a company engaged in helping develop Russia’s rich natural resources in a responsible and sustainable way. Kupol will provide up to 850 jobs at the height of its operation. One of the mine’s key social objectives is to support indigenous people through job creation, supplier linkages, and the creation of a local foundation.

The Kupol mine is located slightly north of the Arctic Circle in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia’s sparsely populated, most northeastern region. The nearest settlement is 90 kilometers away. Bema Gold Corporation holds a 75 percent stake in Chukotka Mining and Geological Corporation, with the remaining quarter owned by the government of Chukotka. IFC’s $39 million investment consists of a $14 million senior loan and a subordinated loan of $25 million to Chukotka Mining and Geological Corporation. The subordinated loan has associated warrants in Bema Gold.

The project will promote the modernization of the local mining industry, which will in turn increase demand for local goods and services, stimulate the development of supply chain linkages, and improve local living conditions. IFC will help identify the needs of the local population and assist in establishing Chukotka Mining and Geological Corporation’s charitable foundation, which will implement community and business development programs in the region.

“IFC is pleased to support Chukotka Mining and Geological Corporation, as its Russian sister company, Omsukchansk Mining and Geological Company, has demonstrated a leadership role in sound practices on environmental and corporate social responsibility,” said Edward Nassim, IFC’s Director for Central and Eastern Europe. “We are impressed by Bema’s contribution, through its Russian subsidiary, to the development of many local suppliers, as well as by the favorable work conditions for its staff,” Nassim added.

Clive Johnson, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Bema Gold, said: “The partnership between Bema and IFC has been very successful, and we are pleased to see IFC’s continuing support and confidence. Once the Kupol mine is operational it will be the largest employer in the Chukotka area. IFC recognizes our commitment to social responsibility, and we look forward to this partnership furthering our impact in this area.”

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications. For more information, visit

Russia joined IFC in 1993. Since then IFC has invested $2.4 billion in the country, including $246 million in syndicated loans, in over 100 projects across a variety of sectors. In fiscal year 2005 (July 2004–June 2005) IFC’s investments reached $832 million. IFC’s investment portfolio in Russia stands at $1.7 billion, making it the largest country exposure for IFC globally. IFC has invested in key sectors including banking, leasing, housing finance, infrastructure, mining, agribusiness, pulp and paper, construction materials, oil and gas, telecommunications, information technologies, retail, and health care.  For more information, visit