Chinese to invest $800 million in Serbian copper mines and smelter RTB Bor
The start of reconstruction and expansion of the capacity of the smelter is also planned, from 80,000 to as many as 200,000 tons of copper per year
Chinese company Zijin will invest $800 million this year in expanding production facilities at RTB Bor, as well as in the development of a new copper and gold mine, Cukaru Peki.
According to the daily Novosti, Zijin will start expanding surface mines Veliki Krivelj and Majdanpek this year, and will invest to open a new copper and gold mine Cerovo 2. In addition, preparations for activating the Borska Reka deposit, whose "cap" is located at a depth of 450 meters, will begin at the Jama underground mine.
The plan is also to begin reconstruction and expansion of capacity of the copper smelter from the current 80,000 to as many as 200,000 tons of copper per year, build another sulfuric acid plant, as well as a new electrolysis plant.
The most difficult task for the Chinese, as stated, will be work on opening the upper zone of the Cukaru Peki mine, where reserves of about one million tons of copper and close to 70 tons of gold have been established. This mine is expected to become fully operational in mid-2021.
In addition, for nearly $400 million strategic partner RTB Bor purchased the rights from US company Freeport for the lower zone of the deposit as well, where resources of nearly five million tons of copper and nearly 150 tons of gold have been discovered - almost the equal amount of these metals as has been mined in Bor during the past 115 years.
The site is estimated to contain reserves of about 4 million tons of copper, 130 tons of gold and more than 1,000 tons of silver whose gross value, at current prices, is more than $30 billion.