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Government of Yakutia discusses the extraction of mammoth fauna

  • Published in Nature
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Issues of conducting a comprehensive industry analysis of the performance of economic entities involved in the extraction of mammoth remains in the territory of Yakutia were discussed on July 7 at a meeting with Chairman of the Government of the Republic Evgeny Chekin.

Minister of Industry and Geology Andrei Panov spoke about the collection of paleontological materials of the mammoth fauna and legal regulation of this activity.

The main reserves of fossil mammoth bone are concentrated in the Arctic regions of Yakutia, and this raw material is in demand on the world market. The resources of the mammoth tusks in the republic reach 500 thousand tons, which is more than 80% of the total Russian reserves.

"From 1991 to 2002, the industrial harvesting of the tusks in the Arctic regions of the republic was not licensed and was in the  sidelines due to the cessation of the activity of the National Mammoth Fund - a monopoly enterprise for the collection and processing of mammoth bone - and the ban on exports,” said Andrei Panov.

In 2003, the State Committee for Geology and Subsoil Use began issuing licenses for the extraction of the mammoth tusk and other remnants of mammoth fauna from the surface to indigenous communities, individual entrepreneurs, and legal entities for up to 1 year. A total of 23 licenses were issued to 14 subsoil users. According to the reported data, the production of mammoth bone was 14.7 tons. The budget of the republic received funds from the tax on the extraction of mineral resources (MET) in the amount of 247 thousand rubles.

The result of the legalization of the collection of mammoth ivory was an annual increase in the volume of production and tax revenues to the budget of the republic. So, in 2007, 33.4 tons of tusks were extracted, taxes were received for more than 1.1 million rubles.

Currently, the collection of paleontological materials of mammoth fauna is regulated by separate articles of the federal law "On Subsoil" and by the approved order of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia.

"Commercial extraction of fossil mammoth bone is not taxed, and it has a significant demand in the world market, for which tens of tons of high-quality raw materials are annually exported from the republic," said Andrei Panov.

He also added that since 2016 licenses for mammoth tusks extraction have been issued for up to 5 years. In 2013, 217 licenses were issued to 37 subsoil users, 20.3 tons were produced, 71 subsurface users received 383 licenses in 2015, and 108 tons were extracted. In 2016, 63 subsoil users were granted 421 licenses, 81 tons of tusks were extracted.

Information on the establishment of the World Mammoth Center in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) was presented by the First Deputy Minister of Education and Science Mikhail Prisyazhny.

As the First Deputy Minister said, it is necessary to legislatively solve the issue of determining the legal status of the fossil mammoth fauna.

The concept of the establishment of the World Mammoth Center has already been developed and coordinated with all interested executive bodies of state power of the republic and is in the Administration of the head and the government at the stage of final coordination and approval.