EBRD Director for Serbia, Daniel Berg, said that this financial institution has not financed projects in the mining industry in our country so far. However, as he announced, the EBRD is considering certain proposals and will be most likely present in this sector in the future.
During the International Conference on Mineral Resources, called “A Driving Force of Economic Development”, Berg said the good news is that the EBRD is involved in the financing of this sector in the region, and that numerous companies that received EBRD funds were present at the conference which in neighboring countries, such as Bulgaria and Albania, are working on the exploration of mineral deposits.
“The good news is that we will be present in Serbia in this sector and we look forward to working on the projects. We believe that it is possible to finance such projects in Serbia as well as in any other country and that there are no specific obstacles related to legal or geological aspect”, he said.
He added that the bad news is that since being present in Serbia as of 2001, the EBRD has not financed any projects in the Mineral Resources and Mining Sector.
“We have financed one gas project of Srbijagas, but I would rather call it infrastructure project than mining project”, said Berg.
The head of EBRD in Serbia said that the timing in which the bank has invested in mining projects in neighboring countries was much better than today, because of the market prices which were much better than today.
He also explained that the funding in the neighboring countries was mainly related to the exploitation or the projects were ore reserves at the sites were verified, and not related to exploration.
“There are many projects in Serbia and some of these are being discussed with the companies that are now present here, however they are still at an early stage in order to involve large financial institutions that usually do not finance exploration activities,” Berg explained, adding that the EBRD is also discussing with the Serbian Government about securing the potential investment in these projects from the legal and investment point of view.
“I expect that next year, as well as in 2018 and 2019 I will not be in a position to say at this conference that the EBRD does not finance mining projects in Serbia,” said Berg.