Russia will start granting permanent licenses for miners to export gold instead of one-off rights, a decree showed on Monday, according to Reuters.
The move aims to support gold mining companies in shipping metal overseas independently as demand in its regular trade chain is hit by the coronavirus.
Russian commercial banks, usually the main gold buyers from miners, have found it more difficult to export gold as the virus outbreak has grounded passenger flights.
“We have spent over a year on this process and we are happy that gold miners will now be entitled to export the metal under general licenses,” Sergei Kashuba, the head of Russia’s Gold Producers Union, a lobby group, told Reuters.
Russian banks have said that domestic demand for gold has also been curbed by the central bank’s decision at the start of the month to suspend its gold purchases from banks.
“We believe that, while the Central Bank has suspended purchases of gold in the domestic market, the presence of general licenses will allow gold producers to have greater control over where to sell the metal,” Kashuba added.