Steady improvement of this facility’s operational efficiency was the key driver for ensuring the sustainability of production that resulted in the historically stable performance of the Cu segment of the Group with the 2017 EBITDA margin at 49% at Solway-owned DOO Buchim Radovish, which is Macedonia’s largest copper mine. Management of the Group is commencing the development of the Borov Dol project which enables Buchim’s Mine Life until 2030. The planned investment in 2018 is USD 22 million, the majority of which will be funded by committed credit lines with local banks.
In 2017, Buchim produced 38,750 tons of dry copper concentrate, containing 8,008 tons of copper, 31,250 oz. of gold, and 35,173 oz. of silver, and produced 958 tons of cathode copper of 99,99% quality.
In 2017, Buchim invested USD 1.7 million in equipment purchasing, infrastructure development, and occupational health, safety, and environmental protection measures. This included the purchase of dump trucks and drillers, the construction of a diversion channel at the tailing facility and recultivation of the tailing dump. Facility maintenance and repair expenses totaled USD 4.1 million in 2017.
Solway is continuing its investments in occupational health-and-safety initiatives, environmental safeguards, and the development of municipal infrastructure at the Macedonian Buchim mine and its neighboring municipalities.
Overall the 2017 environmental expenditure was USD 150,000, including the construction of monitoring wells for the SXEW shop environmental program extension, environmental monitoring services – surface and groundwater, atmospheric air, environmental noise, industrial emissions and discharges, waste management services and environmental and energy third party audits and assessments.
Buchim’s 2017 annual health and safety operational investments reached USD 159,000, including costs for the worker’s Personal Protective Equipment, emergency response services and employees physical examinations, staff training and attestation etc. 25 managers and workers obtained H&S operation licenses from the State Ministry of Labour Protection and Social Policy.
In 2017, Solway continued investment in social development – USD 60,000was allocated for social activities: local football, handball, and wrestling clubs, culture and community relations, including folk music groups and local NGOs, pre-schools, and correctional educational programs in the Radovish municipality.
Buchim successfully completed the Environmental baseline survey, and the archaeological investigation of footprint and Environmental impact assessment study for the Borov Dol mine development. The proposed Solway investment in the Borov Dol mine project should lead to prolongation of the Buchim industrial operation for up to 10 years and improvement in local community support for three municipalities – Konche, Shtip and Radovish.