Agency of Natural Resources of Georgia has auctioned mining license for extraction of gold, copper and barite in the Kvemo Kartli region for GEL 110.5 million (about USD 66 million) on February 29, the agency at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources said.
Mining Investments LLC, which was the only participant of the auction, has obtained the 27-year license.
The company was registered in Georgia on February 13, 2012 - less than a month after the mining license was put on auction by the Agency of Natural Resources on January 19.
Mining Investments LLC is wholly owned by Alvydas Brusokas, a Lithuanian national residing in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The mining license involves gold, copper and barite deposits in Bolnisi and Dmanisi municipalities in south from Tbilisi and spans an area of over 1,200 hectares.
The mining license on the same area is currently held by Madneuli, a company which is a subsidiary of GeoProMining Group, previously part of Russia's Industrial Investors (Promyshlennye Investory); Russian entrepreneur Siman Povarenkin is a shareholder of GeoProMining Group, which also has gold and copper mining businesses in Armenia and Russia.
Madneuli's license expires in April, 2014 and the new license holder, Mining Investments LLC, will move in from that date. But if the current license is relinquished by its holder earlier than its expiration date, the new license holder will be able to take over within a month.
Mining Investments LLC has to pay GEL 110.5 million no later than June 1, 2012.
In October, 2011 the Agency of Natural Resources has auctioned mining license for extraction of ferrous, noble, precious metals and barite deposits in Bolnisi, Marneuli, Dmanisi, Tsalka and Tetritskaro municipalities for GEL 93.5 million (about USD 56 million), The license was obtained by Caucasian Mining Group, a subsidiary of a Cyprus-registered Pamtilon Holdings Limited.
According to the state statistics agency, last year Georgia exported raw or semi-processed gold worth of USD 109.8 million, or 5% of the country's total export; worth of exported copper was USD 85.1 million, making 3.9% of Georgia's total export in 2011.