Serbia mining: Lisina project, Strategic importance of phosphates for Serbia

, Mining

Global need for phosphates records the permanent growth trend, why they have became the world strategic resource

Besides deposit in Silinjaarvi in Finland, Lisina is the only identified  phosphate deposit in the continental Europe, said Slobodan Mijailovic, director of the company “Victoria Phosphates” in the introduction to the project presentation- “Lisina phosphates”. According to estimates, the largest users of phosphate, the U.S. and China will spend its own reserves over the next 50 years and control over this resource will pass into the hands of only one country – Morocco.

The phosphate ore is used for natural fertilizer production and as concentrate for production of mineral fertilizers, additives for animal feed, detergents, cosmetics, and also has found application in the pharmaceutical industry. Global need for phosphates records permanent growth trend, why they have become a resource of strategic importance. Demand for fertilizers increase due to the increase in population, the growth of global demand for food, depletion of arable land and the increased use of biofuels.

Increasing agricultural production is one of the three strategic objectives of Serbia, while mining strategy from the 2011th defines phosphate as a strategic mineral resource. A new bill on Mining Law determines the investment in strategic mineral resources as public interest. Serbia’s EU candidacy and the proximity of the “Lisina” deposit and the Bulgarian border are two facts that represent the potential to support the IPA Fund and fund for cross- border cooperartion.

Phosphate site “Lisina” is located in the Pcinj region near Bosilegrad. Phosphate deposit “Lisina” was investigated by the Yugoslav government institutes in the period from the 1960th by 1988th, and in 2008th “Victoria Phosphates”, member of a leading Serbian agro-industrial corporation “Victoria Group” has restored it. The project is at the stage of feasibility study drafting. Estimates of ore reserves justify the economic feasibility of mining, and the life of the mine will be about 33 years for the estimated 56 million tons of mineral reserves.

There are seven potential buyers of products from the “Lisina” mine within 1.000 kilometers around the site. These are the exporters of phosphates originating from North Africa and the Middle East. Serbian company “Elixir Group” sent in the 2012th the letter of its intents to purchase a total annual production for its factory in Sabac and Prahovo. Fertilizer plant “Verna” has also showed interest to meet part of their needs from the production of “Lisina” mine.

When it comes to the benefit for the economy and society, the business will directly find 350 people and it is expected another 1.000 workers to be employed indirectly in agriculture and food production, transport, trade, construction, security, and etc. The project has strategic importance for Serbia, but also for the underdeveloped Pcinj district and municipality Bosilegrad and will bring the largest single investment in the county.

Source; Serbia Energy mining desk

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