New Serbian Mining law defines new rules and conditions for exploration, ministry sets up new framework

18. February 2013. / Mining

Nickel, copper and oil are raw materials that are strategically important to the draft of the mining law and geological research what means that Serbia will be strategic partner in these jobs.

The draft of the mining law and geological research was presented to public. Minerals, strategically important to Serbia, were defined with this law draft. According to the law, government will make strategy for mineral resources’ leadership, not Serbian Parliament, like it has been so far, State Secretary from Ministry of Resources, Tomislav Subaranovic said.

Representatives of Freeport and Ultra Lithium companies gave their opinion on newly introduced article 11 which is an issue for investors.

State Secretary of Natural resources, Mining and Spatial Planning’s Ministry said that, according to the law, government is predicted to make a strategy for mineral resources’ leadership in the next 10 years at least.

Subaranovic said that articles which protect Serbia from unpredictable circumstances are introduced in the proposed law.
According to his words, conditions and way of approval of applied geological research and minerals exploitation were defined in preliminary variant of the law.

Minerals that are strategically important to Serbia were defined by law, as well as conditions for geological research and exploitation of minerals.

Geological Institute of Serbia will be able to do geological research according to special decision of Ministry of Resources.
Amounts of material required for technological practice of geological research were defined by the law draft. Extension of investigation period of geological research to two years maximum was also enabled.

Preparation and certification of studies on resources and reserves were also planned to be done in every five years with additional and confidential estimations of resources and reserves. Consent for sustainable use of subterranean waters’ resources will be issued every five years.

Subaranovic said to journalists that nickel is mineral of huge strategic importance, as well as copper and oil and because of that Serbia will be declared as strategic partner.

“It will be mayor owner with reference to exploitation only, and if facilities for final processing are built, different ownership variant is possible”, he said and added that state wants to ensure its mineral resources not to be sold for nothing.

No research without government partnership

President of the Company “Ultra Litium Plus” Nenad Loncarevic said if government and Ministry intend to drive away foreign investors from Serbia and to terminate mining investments, then they are on the right track with article 11 of the law.

“Article 11 defines strategic partnership that doesn’t exist in Serbian laws. It is political category and completely undefined in article 11. Investor can’t know when he enter business, what does he start and what will return to him, so there is no point to begin business in the first place”, Loncarevic warned.

“Free port” Company Representative Dejan Kozelj said that often changing of law regulative is no good and that “the biggest stumbling stone” in the proposed law is article 11 where is written that neither geological research, nor exploitation can be done without Government partnership.

Kozelj said that geological research can sometimes need significant assets that cannot be returned, it is a risky job and we don’t know if Serbia wants to participate risky research.

“State should determine the part it posses and then to let companies do further research without obligated strategic partnership”, Kozelj said.

According to the words of Ministry Representative, this is public discussion and the first presentation of the law and there will be more meetings like this one because opinion of expert public should be heard and good proposals should be included in the law.

Source Serbia Energy/Agencies/Ministry of mining

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