Mineco Group, one of the largest international mining investors in the Western Balkans, is successfully realizing its ambitious long-term and mid-term plans, continuing with positive business results, increasing the number of its staff and carrying out development projects.
In the past year, the Mineco Group continued to work on improving existing production capacities, including its mines in Serbia – Rudnik above Gornji Milanovac, Veliki Majdan near Ljubovija, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina Gross, near Srebrenica. In these mines, Mineco has invested in improving production, renewing equipment, and in geological exploration to increase its mineral reserves.
Around the whole world, the non-ferrous metal mining sector has faced many challenges during 2018 due to slightly lower average prices of non-ferrous metals compared to the previous year, but this has not disturbed planned investments in Mineco’s development projects, which have been fully implemented.
In the first new underground mine in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last 30 years, Mineco Group member Geomet near Olovo has begun excavation of cerussite lead ore, which was one of Mineco’s priority goals in Southeast Europe for 2018. Works are currently under way on the construction of facilities for gravity separation of ore and accompanying facilities and over ground infrastructure, and the delivery of the first tonnes of lead concentrate from this mine is expected already this summer.
Of great importance for Mineco is the fact that the Geomet mine was used as a test mine for the European IMP@CT project under the EU scientific-business programme Horizon 2020, to find the best technological solutions for mining and processing ore from smaller deposits, strategically important metals such as lead and antimony. Success of this project would allow the Mineco Group to develop several smaller mining projects in the Western Balkans in the coming years.
Regarding its short-term plans for 2019, Mineco will continue to work on developing existing and new production capacities. The first such goal was achieved already at the beginning of the year, when a Mineco Group member Western Mining doo was selected to sign a concession agreement for the exploitation of lead, zinc and copper ore at the Čelebići locality near Foča, with the Government of the Republic of Srpska. Exploratory drilling continued at the site to increase the mineral reserves balance and thus contribute to the design of the future mine.
As for its medium-term plans, Mineco continued work on developing the lead, zinc and copper mine Bosil-Metal near Bosilegrad, where a trial floatation plant started operation in 2017. Next month, Mineco is expected to complete a feasibility study for a flotation ore processing project for commercial production at this mine, after which it will be possible to undertake all of the upcoming legal and administrative tasks. The ultimate goal is construction and commissioning of the commercial mine Bosil-Metal, which implies a new investment of an additional 13 to 15 million dollars, creating a further 200 jobs.
According to its business report, the total investment of the Mineco Group in 2018 in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina again exceeded $ 20 million. In 2019, investment in the Western Balkans will reach at least the same amount.
In the previous year, Mineco invested in extensive works on building the mini hydro power plant Medoš One on the Drinjača river near Zvornik. Its commissioning is expected by the end of this year.
Mineco Group will continue to improve production in all mines, striving to set the highest standards in quality control, nature protection and safety at work.