An ASX-listed company mining coal in northern Russia may soon privatise its operations after it was suspected of breaching Australia’s Russia sanctions regime, imposed as a result of the war in Ukraine.
Calls are growing for the Australian government to review the activities of an Australian publicly listed coalminer still operating in Russia more than a year after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tigers Realm Coal, which has been operating in Russia for more than a decade, was warned in April by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) that it could be in breach of Australian sanctions.
There is now a call — from Transparency International Australia and Ukraine, the Australian Centre for International Justice and their Ukrainian partners at Razom We Stand — urging Foreign Minister Penny Wong to avoid granting a permit that would allow the company to continue sanctioned activities.
In a letter seen by SBS Russian, representatives of the four organisations have called for a review of Tigers Realm’s activities.
“In its ASX announcement, Tigers Realm mentioned that they might be seeking a permit. Our letter calls upon the Australian Sanctions Office and the minister to not grant that permit,” said Melissa Chen, a senior lawyer at the Australian Centre for International Justice.
“A permit must not be granted unless it’s in the national interest to do so. Given Australia’s publicly strong stance in terms of its sanctions against Russia, the granting of such a permit would not and could not meet this national interest test.”
Who is Tigers Realm?
Tigers Realm’s mining of coal in the Chukotka autonomous region has continued largely uninterrupted despite Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, the downing of MH17 by pro-Russian separatists in Donbas, and most recently, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Established in 2010 and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as a junior mining and exploration company a year later, Tigers Realm initially disclosed assets in Colombia, Indonesia, Spain and Russia.