Zijin to shut down copper smelter in Serbia for overhaul
The company’s 2022 annual plan lists planned maintenance and also pegs total production at 85,000 tons of cathode copper, 1,580 kilograms of gold and about 13 tons of silver.
“After upgrading the metallurgical units, the Bor smelter will operate to the highest environmental standards,” the statement said.
To boost economic growth, incomes and reduce unemployment, the Serbian government, which faces elections on April 3, has offered mineral resources to investors including Chinese copper miner Zijin and Rio Tinto, sparking protests environmental groups.
In 2018, Zijin Mining became Serbia’s strategic partner in RTB Bor, pledging to invest $1.26 billion in return for a 63% stake.
Last year, Zijin opened the Cukaru Peki underground copper and gold mine in the Bor region, which is expected to make the Balkan country Europe’s second largest copper producer.
China has so far invested billions of euros in Serbia, which is a candidate for membership of the European Union, mainly in the form of subsidized loans for infrastructure and energy projects, within the framework of its Belt and Road Initiative to open up external trade links.
(By Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Barbara Lewis)