British-based mineral exploration company, Adriatic Metals, is set to start production at its Vares Silver Project in central Bosnia in November. This will be the first mine to open in Europe in over a decade. The company’s CEO, Paul Cronin, emphasized that the project is expected to have a significant impact on the economy of the impoverished Balkan country.
The Vares Silver Project aims to dig around 800,000 tons of polymetallic ore annually, resulting in approximately 65,000 tons of lead-silver concentrate and 90,000 tons of zinc concentrate over the course of six years. The estimated annual value of ore exports is around $436 million, greatly contributing to the GDP of Bosnia.
Adriatic Metals currently holds a resource of 21 million tonnes of polymetallic ore, including copper, silver, zinc, lead, and gold. The company has already invested $40 million in exploration and has been approved an additional $30 million to further continue its operations.
In terms of employment, Adriatic Metals plans to offer jobs to a workforce of 370 people, including 250 contractors. The company has already employed 290 workers and is in the process of hiring an additional 80 employees. Moreover, around 300 construction workers have been hired for the various projects associated with the mine.
Environmental and health risks associated with the mine have been carefully analyzed by the company. Adriatic Metals made the decision to clean and rebuild an old mining plant, ensuring that the mine remains one of the lowest-impact mines globally. The company has also constructed a 25-kilometer road to connect Vares with the town of Zenica, and has collaborated with a local railway company to restore a railway line after a 25-year hiatus. These infrastructural developments will enable the transportation of the ore to European smelters located in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and Italy.
Adriatic Metals aims to cater specifically to European smelters, as Europe strives to produce its own metals rather than relying on other countries. CEO Paul Cronin highlighted the importance of European self-sufficiency in metal production, in order to reduce dependence on nations such as Russia and China.
Source: clayton county register