Chinese company to become strategic partner of Serbia's sole copper producer
2018-09-04 08:53 | xinhua

  One of the leading Chinese gold, copper and non-ferrous metals producers won at the public competition for the strategic partner of Serbia's state-owned copper mining and smelting complex in the city of Bor, Minister of Energy and mining Aleksandar Antic confirmed at a press conference after Friday's government session.

  Antic revealed that China's Zijin Mining Group made the best offer among the three companies that competed at the tender for the strategic partner of the Mining and Smelting Combine Bor, located some 250 kilometers southeast of the capital Belgrade.

  According to him, the offer envisages investment of 1.26 billion USD in exchange for 65 percent of ownership over Serbia's sole producer of copper and precious metals.

  He pointed out that 350 million USD will be allocated as a capital injection to the company, while Zijin will also invest another 200 million to settle the company's historic debt.

  The deal also foresees that Zijin keeps all 5,000 employees that currently work there.

  According to the company website, the "Mining and Smelting Combine Bor" includes Bor Copper Mines that employ 2,239 people as well as Bor Copper Smelter Refinery and the Majdanpek Copper Mine.

  Antic said that the partnership with Zijin will enable opening of a new mine as well as to modernize and increase the capacity of the smelting plant.

  "In three years we expect to double the production to 80,000 tons of copper, while in five years it should increase to 120,000-150,000 tons," he said as reported by the Serbia's public broadcaster RTS.

  RTS reports that the finalization of the contract is planned for the first half of September, so as to have the deal concluded and money transfer completed before Dec. 31, and that the partnership can become official on Jan. 1, 2019.

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