Serbia mining report: Copper production in Serbia

11. April 2013. / Mining

Copper production in Serbia had a continual growth with intermittent long-term falls since the beginning so it achieved a level of 105 thousand tons of cathode copper from its own resources and it has been in continual fall since then and it amounts around 20 thousand tons yearly.

Current copper production is limited with couple of factors which are related to: condition of mining work in mines, old equipment and technology and installed mining and metallurgical capacities. Very low production results are being achieved because of old equipment and technology and high production expenses at the same time which makes current copper production unprofitable despite very affordable copper price. Significant number of international exploration and investments companies proves Serbia mining potentials, copper is just one of the potentials waiting strategic partners.

Very intensified copper production and consumption at the end of last and in the beginning of this century caused need for observation and discussion about the perspective of copper production in Serbia in the light of these changes.

However, the fact is unfortunately that the production trend in world significantly grew in the last 20 years and copper production fell in the same period which is irreparable loss for Serbia in financial sense.

Researched geological reservoirs are sufficient for further bigger production than current one i.e. the new reservoirs without potential are going to be researched in the next 5 or 6 decades. Around 300 million dollars is required to be invested in the mining in order to increase level of copper production in Serbia and about 200 million for construction of new foundry. Current 25 000 of suppose to reach a level of 70 to 80 000 tons of cathode copper annually.

We must have in mind several facts like: quantity and quality of available mining reservoirs, development of technique and technology, prices of copper and basic factors which determine their long-term movement, constructed mining and metallurgical capacities, cadre potential and acquired experience in this area, available infrastructural, communal and other objects. Estimation of developmental perspective of this production has to be all included, based on relevant facts.

In long terms, this production can be achieved with increase of current installed capacities for mining procession in mines of around 13 million tons to about 23 million tons yearly.

This kind of copper production increase in Serbia can bring 300 to 500 million dollars of exchange income in the next five years so the copper production can be very important support to Serbian industry what can significantly influence exchange deficit of Serbia.

We should mention that annual copper production can increase to the level of 100 to 150 thousand tons of cathode copper with inclusion in the mining production and exploitation of sites Borska reka that will be exploited with underground method. Estimated investments for Borska reka mine opening are 300 million dollars approximately.

Copper production incomes in Serbia can reach level of a billion dollars yearly. This is possible if Serbia puts copper production and procession in strategic direction of Serbian industry development.

Copper production in Serbia can be significantly increased on the base of determined and available mineral resources of copper i.e. 100 to 150 tons of cathode copper yearly and this can be very important factor in Serbian industry.

Why copper production and products on the copper base can be more attractive industrial branch than some other industrial branches in Serbia?

Main advantages of copper production and copper based products with reference to most other projects of Serbian industry are:

-best quality products (99,99% pure cathodes) that are absolutely competitive on the world market

-provided market for complete production program

-safe exchange income for the state

-huge experience, professional cadres, many years’ tradition of copper production in Serbia

-required infrastructure and other communal objects

What is needed for achievement of this goal? It is needed that institutions and people responsible for Serbian industry recognize industrial potential in production of colored metals in Serbia and that to set strategic plan of national development and copper production as one of strategic directions of industrial production development in Serbia.

Source;Serbia Energy Mining report

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