Russia wants to invite Chinese investors to the develop mineral deposits in its territory, said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak at a meeting of the intergovernmental Russian-Chinese commission on energy cooperation.
"Thanks to joint efforts, cooperation in the energy sector is progressively developing and has reached an unprecedentedly high level," he stated following a meeting in Moscow with Deputy Prime Minister of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Han Zhen.
“The volume of mutual trade reached $ 104 billion. This year, 81.7 million tons of Russian oil were supplied to China, 39.5 tons of coal were exported, 12 billion cubic meters of gas went through the Power of Siberia pipeline,” Novak listed.
At the same time, there is a "significant potential" for the further development of relations in the oil and gas sector. The Russian and Chinese delegations agreed that it should be focused on " joint exploration and development of Russia's oil and gas reserves both on land and on the continental shelf of the country," the Russian government press service said in a release.
The same goes for coal. "We are in favor of further increasing coal supplies, and because of this new long-term contract will be worked out, as well as joint development of coal deposits in Russia," Novak said.
As an example, Novak cited the Zalushanskoye coal deposit in Transbaikalia, a stake in which in 2015 was sold to China's largest coal company Shenhua.
Production at the deposit with reserves of 742 million tons is expected to increase 25 times with the help of Chinese partners - from the current 200 thousand tons per year to 5 million tons.
Coal mining at this deposit will be conducted in an open way, said last year the representatives of the Russian Far East Investment and Export Agency.
After potentially attracting 20 billion rubles ($270 million) of investments, the project will ensure coal supplies “both for the residential and communal services needs of the Trans-Baikal Territory, and for export to China," the agency reported. “At the moment, more than a third of the trade volume between Russia and China is represented by the fuel and energy. It plays a "key role" in cooperation between the two countries,” Novak said.