The lamps on the helmets of the mine workers in the womb of the mine and the “Rudnik” flotation on the mountain of the same name, the “roof” of Sumadija, will not be extinguished for at least a decade, and probably much longer. It is guaranteed by new reserves of lead and zinc ore of millions of tons, the excavation which has already begun. The latest geological surveys conducted by our and foreign specialized experts indicate that there is certainly more reserves in these ores.
– We started to dig the ore from our new ore body – confirms Aco Ilic, General Manager of Rudnik. – Its contents are outstanding, even better than expected. This was shown in November by a very high concentration of lead and zinc in the ore from the new mine. So far, we have fulfilled the plan for this year by 90 percent.
About 15 years ago, the lead and zinc mine, as it was called before the sale to the Belgrade company Kontango, was threatened to be shut down. The explored and safe reserves of the ore were at a minimum, as was the existence of the employees, whose numbers had dropped. Economists rank this privatization as one of the top ten and most successful in Serbia.
– “Rudnik” has 466 employees. The average salary is 65,000 dinars net. Of all the workers, 260 are miners, who go 62,500 times a year to the pit, more than 400 meters below the ground. The rest are working on flotation and other jobs. Recruitment of new workers is also planned. We have reduced the number of employee injuries to four, five per year, but we want to reduce them to zero. “Rudnik” received the most prestigious European awards for safety at work, because of the effective protection of workers – continues Ilic.
Earlier two million euros were spent to explore new ore deposits, 45 kilometers of wells have been drilled, while about 60 kilometers have been drilled this year.