Miners with assets in Russia’s far east are getting picked off the London Stock Exchange like teenagers in a horror film. First was Highland Gold Mining last year, then the offer came in for Kaz Minerals (KAZ) – which has the Baimskaya copper project in Russia’s Chukotka region – and now Trans-Siberian Gold (TSG) shareholders are being offered 118p a share for their holdings in the company.
Vladislav Sviblov, who also took over Highland, will pay just over £100m for the 40,000 ounce (oz) a year gold miner, and has already sewn up over 50 per cent of the shares through an agreement with Trans-Siberian’s major shareholder UFG Asset Management and two directors who have worked for UFG.
Trans-Siberian's low free float means it has never had high trading volumes, but this deal signals a trend that shareholders need to keep an eye on. London has a fraction of the mining stocks listed elsewhere, although they are better quality overall than Toronto’s venture exchange chancers and Australia’s lifestyle explorers.