Mining – mineral deposits
Lignite represents almost 90% of the country’s energy resources, whereas oil and gas represent less than 10%. More than 65% of the electricity is generated by coal-fired power stations with an annual lignite consumption of around 37 Mt. All active coal mines in Serbia operate within the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS). A public company, the Coal Mining Basin “Kolubara”, is Serbia’s biggest producer of coal. Its main activity, based in the Miocene lignite basin, covers an area of 600 km² with remaining mineable reserves of 2.2 b illion tonnes. Four open-pit mines operate in this basin —Field B, Field D, Tamnava-East and Tamnava-West— all of which are equipped with the most up-to-date continuous mining systems for overburden removal (49.5 Mm3/y capacity) and facilities for a 27.5 Mt annual production of lignite.
The Kostolac Miocene lignite basin, located 90 km east of Belgrade, has remaining reserves of 700 Mt. The lignite is extracted from three open-pit mines —Klenovnik, Cirikovac and Drmno— at an annual rate of 9.2 Mt with 30 Mm3 of overburden.
The Pb-Zn mineralization is well positioned in Serbia, being particularly well concentrated in the Kopaonik District where the deposits form the backbone of the famous Trepca Mining and Metallurgical Complex: Stari Trg, Belo Brdo, Novo Brdo, Ajvalija, etc.
These deposits contain substitution ores related to Tertiary volcano-plutonic events and are generally hosted by carbonates in contact with andesitic intrusions. The Stari Trg deposit, mined industrially since 1931, has produced at least 2000 t of Pb, 1400 t of Zn and more than 2500 t of Ag. It is a world-class mine in a district where former production was 60.5 Mt of ore grading more than 8% Pb+Zn. Other deposits of average size, such as Veliki Majdan, Rudnik and Blagodat, are dispersed throughout Serbia (Fig. 13).Theyare also replacement-type ores and skarn deposits related to Tertiary volcano-plutonic events. Other than silver, the major by-products from these deposits are copper, bismuth,cadmium and gold.
Serbia produces various industrial minerals for internal consumption, and in certain cases for export. Unfortunately, the available data are often old and insufficiently detailed. Consequently, we can provide little more than an inventory of the industrial minerals, dealing first with those that are most abundant and those in which further interest could rapidly lead to new developments.
The various districts within the Serbo-Macedonian Metallogenic Province, characterized by Tertiary volcanic outcrops, are potentially favourable for precious metals, with a high chance of discovering “epithermal” gold deposits. This metallogenic province in Serbia appears to have been unde r-explored for gold, particularly with the availability of modern tools and procedures suited to the country’s geomorphologic context.
This information, despite their imperfections, will form a basis for promoting and helping to promote investments potentials and further develop Serbia’s mining sector. They show the diversity and location of Serbia’s mineral resources and can thus usefully support discussions with investors interested by the country’s mineral and mining potential.
The answers to some of the questions that possible investors are bound to ask can be found on the additional detailed maps(map enables one to localize the main mining and metallurgical districts) and data bases and mining sector analysis ( and deposits).