The start of operation of the Brskovo mine is important for the Montenegro
The start of operation of the Brskovo mine is important not only for the local community, but also for the entire country, which is why the Ministry of Capital Investments is already taking certain steps towards resolving potential bottlenecks, said relevant minister Ervin Ibrahimović.
Ibrahimović and State Secretary Ismet Latić spoke with the executive director of Tara Resources Brskovo mine, Richard Boffey, about the current activities that are being carried out in the company in order to create all the prerequisites for the exploitation and realization of the project to begin.
– I don’t need to emphasize how important the start of exploitation, that is, the start of mine operation, is not only for the local community but also for the entire country. On several occasions, we have already discussed administrative obstacles that significantly affect the dynamics of implementation, and we are ready to work within the competence of this department and are already taking certain steps towards resolving potential bottlenecks – said Ibrahimović.
He added, as announced by the Ministry, that all project participants are aware of its size and complexity, which is precisely why it has an interdepartmental character.
Ibrahimović also noted that the issue of complex administrative and bureaucratic barriers often comes up in meetings with foreign investors.
According to him, as a first step towards the creation of sustainable models of functioning, with the task of solving the deadlock and proposing concrete solutions in the implementation of projects in the field of research and exploitation of mineral raw materials, an interdepartmental working group was formed, made up of representatives of all institutions involved in these processes.
Latić referred to the necessity of faster communication and reaction of institutions when it comes to creating the conditions for the start of the implementation of such important projects.
As he emphasized, the goal of forming this working group is not only to solve individual cases, but to identify the shortcomings of the administration through the analysis of the current situation and create a model that will be operational and sustainable for a long period of time.
The representatives of the company agree that a faster reaction of the institutions is needed, but also that they understand the challenges faced by the state apparatus.
– The support of the Ministry of Capital Investments is important and so far the cooperation has been very constructive – said Boffey.
Ibrahimović assessed that the municipalities in the north need such projects, for which there is potential for further development and which in the long term can affect the change in the social structure, a higher rate of employment and prevent the departure of young people from these areas.
– That is why our task, in addition to protecting state interests, is to be a serious partner and to create a favorable and reliable business environment, so that this, as well as other projects, would be a real recommendation for foreign investors to see our country as a good investment opportunity. I think we have to take it more seriously and work on it more strongly interdepartmentally – concluded Ibrahimović.
Montenegro, Tara Resources invested EURM 25 in the Brskovo zinc mine
EUR 25 million has been invested in the Brskovo mine so far, 550 people will be employed in it during operation, and more than 700 during construction, said the representatives of Tara Resources, which is implementing this investment in Mojkovac.
– When it starts working, the mine will generate approximately EUR 100 million in export sales per year and this will increase the total Montenegrin exports by more than 20% – the company stated.
As announced by the Government, Prime Minister Dritan Abazović together with ministers and the President of the Municipality of Mojkovac Veska Delić visited the Brskovo mine, where they spoke with the Executive Director Ričard Boffi and the manager of relations with the Government Ratka Sekulović.
The announcement states that this is the largest investment in Mojkovac, which is of great importance for this city, Montenegro, and beyond.
– Starting the operation of the Brskovo mine, the investment is worth EUR 150 million. The planned direct income for Montenegro will amount to 150 million from taxes and concession fees during 17 years of working life, while the annual income from taxes will be from 5 to 7 million EUR, so it is expected that Brskovo will become the most profitable company in Montenegro – the announcement states.
The annual concession fee that will go to the budget of the Municipality of Mojkovac will be around EUR 3 million and will double the budget of this municipality.
– The Brskovo mine will produce an average of 45 kt zinc, 10 kt lead and 3 kt copper and it will be one of the leading zinc mines in Europe. It is important to point out that the predicted qualities of the concentrate attracted the interest of several international trading firms and smelters – said company representatives.
Brskovo, they stated, has started implementing a strategy for training and employing the majority of employees at the local level and will require contractors to cooperate with local subcontractors.
Prime Minister Dritan Abazović expressed his satisfaction that work is being done to improve the planning document and expects it to be completed soon and acceptable to the Government, especially in the part of the environmental criteria.
One of the future largest zinc mines in Europe located in Montenegro
CEO of Tara Resources, Richard Boffey believes that together with the local community, they can significantly contribute to increasing employment and bring economic benefits to Montenegro and its people, while restoring the old splendor of Brskovo as a historically known mining region.
“Tara Resources took over the project in 2018 because we saw its strong potential and since then we have invested more than € 15 million in drilling, technical and environmental studies, with local and international experts, to confirm the profitability of the project,” said Richard Boffey in an interview with Mina-business.
The Brskovo mine will be one of the largest zinc mines in Europe and will significantly contribute to higher employment and economic development of Montenegro, Boffey said. He said the mine would restore the old splendor to the Brskovo region known for its long history of mining. He explained that the construction of the mine is reflected in a capital investment of about 150m euros. He specified that the mine will also pay concession fees and taxes of around ten million euros a year.
Approximately EUR 3 million of annual concession fee would go directly to the Municipality of Mojkovac.
“When we talk about employment, the mine currently has 15 employees, but we expect to grow and be one of the largest employers in the country. The construction phase will require 700 employees. In operations, about 450 direct and 200 indirect jobs will be created. We are now working on creating special training programs, which will support the development of human resources in the north of Montenegro needed for this project, “Boffey explained.
According to him, the project will improve the environment and nature in Mojkovac by resolving the remaining effects of the former mine.
Boffey said this mine will be completely different from the previous one.
“The project will consist of two surface mines, a plant for processing zinc, lead and copper concentrates, which also contain silver, as well as a waste management facility. All this will be located in the area of former mining operations on the hills above Mojkovac, far from the urban area “, said Boffey.
He stated that there are old waste rock dumps, open pits and underground tunnels in the vicinity. Guided by leading environmental practices and technologies, their goal, he said, is to remediate those problems and capture and treat all contaminated water. He emphasized that everything will be done in the project area, far from the city of Mojkovac. As he explained, any discharged water will be treated with water purification devices.
Asked whether the company had obtained all the necessary permits and when the mine could be expected to open, Boffey replied that the procedure for obtaining a mine opening permit involves several steps and is clearly prescribed by the Montenegrin Mining Law.
“We work closely with government institutions to ensure that all requirements necessary to obtain permits and approvals are met. Once all the permits are obtained, it will take about two years for the mine to start operating, ”Boffey said.
Central Asia Metals’ mine in North Macedonia had leakage of tailing into the river
Central Asia Metals recently reported tailings leakage at their zinc mine. Mining group Central Asia Metals said a short-term leakage of tailings had occurred from its Sasa zinc and lead project in North Macedonia into the local river. The leakage was stopped soon after and nobody has been harmed, the company said.
“All relevant parties have been informed in North Macedonia and, in conjunction with the appropriate national authorities, an investigation is now underway to ascertain the volume of leaked material as well as the root cause,” it added.
The processing plant at Sasa was not currently operational. Central Asia Metals said it would provide market updates as more information became available.