Serbia: State will restart work in closed mines and offer concession to foreign partners, new mining law predicts investors JV with state for exploration of minerals

15. July 2013. / News Serbia Energy

State intents to restart work in a big number of inactive and closed mines in Serbia within strategic partnerships framework- Ministar of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, Milan Bacevic stated. Minister said when he was representing the Draft of the Law for Geological Research and Mining that geology and mining are serious development chances for our country and this law will enable realization of many new projects.

Strategic partnership will be achieved with establishment of common company where state would have 51% of shares minimum. Minister said that the change brought by draft is meaningful because that means definition of mineral materials for Serbia is changed also, and those are all metallic and certain non-metallic materials- phosphates, fluorites, magnesites.

According to Bacevic’s words, geological research and exploitation of strategic mineral materials will be able to be done by all industrial companies and other legal persons and entrepreneurs that achieve all conditions predicted with the law.

Bacevic stressed that bank guarantee will be decreased for research that won’t exceed three percents with a note that all investors that will do mineral procession bringing new technologies next to exploitation will be in advantage because it will increase income of the state.

Minister announced that official decision to decrease compensation for geological research three times which will amount 700 EUR per ha the most will be made in cooperation with Ministry of Agriculture in autumn.

Bacevic said that debts on the base compensations for use of mineral materials in Serbia amount around 4,5 billion dinars and that owner are companies that have bought active mines that are not working at the moment. These mines that are active have also debts on that base, but at least they work- he added.

According to his words, Serbia has significant reserves of mineral materials that companies from Canada, Australia, Germany, France and Italy are interested in…and they are most interested in research of silver, lead, zinc and copper.

“Interest for lithium and boron is very intensive in the last few months”, Bacevic stressed and added that Serbia is the one of the richest countries in Europe.

Minister said that he supports all geological research if they are legal and that law is not adopted only because of nickel. According to his words, the law will be probably adopted by autumn.

Source; Ministry of Mining/Serbia Energy Mining desk

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