MORE than 100 gold mining companies had their licences revoked in the far eastern Russian region of Magadan last year for violating procedures and legal guidelines on excavation. In addition, 69kg of illegally mined gold were confiscated during 2002 in the region, according to the Russian interior ministry. Despite this, many companies who lose their licences have been registering their businesses under a new name and successfully applying for new licences, according to a ministry statement issued through the Itar-Tass news agency.

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