Extension of Lucky Invest’ lead-zinc deposit concession
The concession agreement for the Govedarnika deposit, located in the Plovdiv region, was signed in 2000. Lucky Invest is a unit of local mining company KCM 2000.
Bulgaria’s government said that it will extend by ten years its concession agreement with Lucky Invest for the lead-zinc ore deposit Govedarnika.
The extension was requested by the company in view of the significant resources remaining at the deposit, the government said in a statement following its weekly meeting.
EXIM and Ironbark to finance Greenland zinc-lead project
The US is dependent on imports for 82% of its annual zinc consumption, according to the US Geological Survey. For lead, the country imports 30% of its requirements. Export Import Bank of the United States EXIM is the official export credit agency of the US.
Ironbark Zinc has secured a letter of interest with the EXIM, which is considering financing up to US$216.1 million (A$308.6 million) of the company’s Citronen zinc-lead project in Greenland.
All up, the estimated construction cost for Citronen is US$514 million (A$734.04 million). Ironbark says that while the LIO is non-binding and does not represent an official commitment from EXIM, the company views it as an important step in advancing project financing for Citronen’s development. The proposed key commercial terms are that EXIM would be able to finance up to US$216.12 million of the US content for the project with a loan term of 8.5 years.
Ironbark says the execution of this LOI represents the culmination of initial discussions with EXIM where the US officials were briefed on the project and Ironbark’s proposed development plans. Ironbark managing director Michael Jardine said the company has been engaging with EXIM over the past six months with the intent of the parties to better understand each other’s strategic goals and steadily building the foundations for a long-term relationship.
“The execution of this LOI is another significant, and potentially transformational, milestone in the Ironbark journey towards Citronen’s development and the long-promised move from developer to producer,” he added.
“The company could not ask for a better potential counterparty than EXIM.”
Mr Jardine said EXIM’s mission is to support American jobs by facilitating the export of US goods and services. The US agency has extensive experience in backing mining developments.
He said the company will also be pursuing similar arrangements with other export credit agencies and commercial lenders. The feasibility study will be finished in early 2021 and, following that, Ironbark will seek to convert these agreements into binding financing deals. Citronen has a resource of 78 million tonnes at 5.1% zinc and 0.5% lead. The feasibility study will be based on mining 3.3Mt per year to produce 200,000tpa of zinc, with a mine life of 14 years (and which can be extended when further inferred resources are converted to reserves). The deposit has a contained 5.7Mt of contained zinc and lead.
Mineco Group at starting point of opening a new lead and zinc mine in the Raška district of Serbia
Mineco Limited is implementing its long-term development plan for south-east Europe, where it currently owns five active non-ferrous metal mines independently or with partners, three of which are located in Serbia, while two are in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The company, one of the largest investors in mining in the Western Balkans, continues to invest in mining in Serbia by opening another lead and zinc mine, within the municipality of Raška. Besides its current investment in the further development of its existing mines and geological research at several locations in the Balkans, Mineco has taken the first steps towards opening its fourth mine in Serbia with the acquisition of the Serbian mining company Vavrina Resources Ltd.
Vavrina Resources had previously bought the land required for the future production of zinc and lead ore and concentrate in the liquidation process of the former Suva Ruda mine. The plots were sold by ATB Bank in Amsterdam, one of the largest creditors of the former owner of the mine. This bank held the plots as part of the collateral for a loan of 25 million euros that was never repaid. Despite the exceptionally bad current global economic situation and the unpredictable dynamics of the recovery of the world raw materials market, Mineco decided to take this step because they believe that mining projects in Serbia still have a future for investment.
The director of the British company Mineco Limited, Bojan Popović, said that Mineco and its partners intend to build the necessary infrastructure on these plots, together with a plant to process ore into concentrates for export to end customers around the world.
“The next steps concern obtaining the right to prospect on our land, and the sooner we resolve this, the sooner we will be able to contribute to the economic growth of Raška, by resuming the production of non-ferrous metal ore concentrate produced by the Suva Ruda mine”, said Popović.
Popovic pointed out that the former mine, which was closed and neglected under the previous owner, had employed 250 to 350 people from the Raška district in various periods until 2002, and that it was a significant factor in the economic development of this area. As Popović recalled, Mineco had successfully started, recovered and made stable the mine near Gornji Milanovac, the Veliki Majdan mine in Ljubovija and Gross in Srebrenica, and also built two completely new mines: Bosil-Metal in Karamanica near Bosilegrad and Geomet in Olovo, which are of great importance to the local communities in these municipalities. Popovic emphasized that Mineco believes that the responsible authorities will recognize the potential that has opened up for the economic and social development of the Raška region, with an investor who has proven references for financing and launching similar mines in the region and who insists on complying with all legal regulations and on regular settlement of financial obligations, both to its staff and to the Republic of Serbia.