Serbia: Mining, unexploited opportunity; the state improves the business climate for FDI

26. July 2013. / News Serbia Energy

With the new law of mineral exploration and mining the state is trying to revive this branch and start up the country. Although many foreign companies seek ores and minerals in Serbia, revenue in the budget is minimal.

Some mines in Serbia were closed after privatization. The government is now looking for the way to re-start their production, because, they say, they are perspective. According to unofficial data, unused investigated mineral wealth is estimated at 260 billion dollars.

According to the new low of geological exploration and mining, which is in preparation, the owners will have to pay a fee. Debt based on mining rent has even reached 4.5 billion dinars.

Mining minister Milan Bacevic explains that owed the companies that bought the active mines that are currently closed. Significant amounts, however, also owes the active mines, but in them, he says, is still working.

This will be an important income for the budget. By comparison, the government now subsidizes public company “Resavica” with 4.3 billion dinars per year.

The state has now, on that basis, incomes of about 3.7 billion dinars, and only in the next few years, this amount could be 10 times higher.

A hundred of companies look for different ores and minerals in Serbia. Only the gold sites are explored at even 50 locations, and lithium at 22 locations.

The new law should provide better conditions for investors. From the autumn the fee for geological investigation will be three times lower, instead of 2.000euros will be 700 per hectare.

Reduction of bank guarantees

The plan is also to reduce bank guarantees. Now they are 30 percent of deal value, which is extremely expensive and gets away potentially investors.

“We want to motivate them by reducing bank guarantees which will not exceed three percent. However, as a state we have to be sure that they will not leave the landfills of used materials when the exploitation would be over,” said minister Bacevic.

However, in the government count on that mining start up hiring miners, but also the experts. Requirements in that branch also follow education program on Faculty of Mining and Geology, whose staff quickly finds a job.

Dean of the Faculty of Mining and Geology in Belgrade, Ivan Obradovic says there is more interest than the site number in enrollment.

“Some young people have recognized the interest in studying at the Faculty of Mining and Geology as something that gives them a perspective,” said Obradovic.

In this area ​​the state wants the partnership with strategic companies, in order that investors after research open mines and processing factories in Serbia, and not to export raw materials and process them in other countries.

Source;Serbia Energy/Ministry of mining

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