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Acid Plant Database  Julyy 30, 2021

Owner Zijin Bor Copper d.o.o.

Location Serbia
Background Formerly RTB Bor d.o.o. www.rtb.rs
Website www.zijinmining.com
Plant K1 K2 K3 New Plant
Coordinates* - 44° 4' 38" N, 22° 6' 39" E 44° 4' 44" N, 22° 6' 32" E 44° 4' 42" N, 22° 6' 35" E
Type of Plant - - Metallurgical Metallurgical
Gas Source - - Copper
Roaster/P-S Converters
Flash Furnace/P-S Converters
Plant Capacity - - - 1830 MTPD
Status - Shutdown
1999 - Idle Operating
Year Built - 1971 1981 2015
Technology - Chemibau Ebarra MECS
Contractor - - - SNC-Lavalin
Energoprojekt Oprema
Remarks Vessel Fabrication by SiMGETEK İmalat ve Mühendislik A.Ş.
- Absorbing Tower Pump Tank (Ø3100x15540 mm - 26 ton)
- Crossflow Stripper Tower (Ø2300x10035 mm - 8 ton)
- Drying Tower (Ø6500x14280 mm - 44 ton)
- Drying Tower Pump Tank (Ø3100x9240 mm - 16 ton)
- Final Absorbing Tower (Ø5500x20815 mm - 42 ton)
- Interpass Absorbing Tower (Ø5600x20600 mm - 42 ton)
- Product Acid Pump Tank (Ø3500x4375 mm - 7 ton)


New Acid Plant
Dismantling of Old Acid Plant

Smelter and refinery consists of two lines.  The first smelting line was put in operation in 1961 and the second in 1971.  Total annual designed capacity is 600,000 tons of concentrate.  Annual design capacity of cathodes is 160,000 tons.

The Serbian Government has decided to place a tender on the privatization of RTB Bor to allow for better development and investment for the company in the recent years. The first tender was won by Romanian Cuprom for the bidding price of $400 Million dollars for the company but failed to secure payment guarantees and subsequently lost its bid. A second tender was called soon after, the highest bidders being Austrian A-TEC for $466 Million plus 180.4 Million in investment and Russian SMR at $370 million plus $413 million in investment. A-TEC was awarded the contract for the highest bid which received some criticism from some stressing that SMR made a better offer with its larger investment pledge. After the sighing of the contract was made the first $150 Million dollars was delivered by A-TEC, problems arose however after A-TEC missed its deadline for the second payment at $230 Million. The Serbian Minster of Economy, Mladan Dinkic moved to have the contract canceled stressing that A-TEC did not honor their contract. A-TEC made several attempts to rectify the problem by increasing their offer slightly for a extended deadline. The company announced it was having trouble securing bank guarantees due to the global credit crunch or recession scare. It announced that it had secured the next payment with the help of the Austrian government. A-TEC was not permitted to see the $150 million dollars it had already paid fore returned. The Serbian government at this time had however voted to scrap the contract and offer Russian SMR the second ranked bidder a chance to purchase RTB Bor. SMR was contacted by the privatization agency and entered negotiations about the previous offer made. Over all interest was lost by SMR as they decided not to change their first offer and stated they would not do so in the future. As such the second tender had officially failed.  It is not likely that a third tender for the company will have to be called.

References Smelting News, Issue No. 1, 2012
News July 30, 2021 - A new, “revolutionary” facility, which will filter all the fugitive waste gas from Zijin’s metalworking facilities and the Sulfuric Acid Factory which will result in the factory’s chimney letting out entirely clean air, should soon be built at the Bor Smelter, as announced by Zijin Copper.  “The new facility will mark a new stage of our operations, during which all the waste fugitive gases from the smelter and the sulfuric acid factory will be filtered and the emission of harmful gasses from the chimney will be drastically reduced, practically annulled”, said the manager of the Sulfuric Acid Factory, Zoran Aleksov. He added that the air filtering facility would use a brand new technology, which has already been implemented in China and produced good results.  Following the technical overhaul, the emission of exhaust gases will be in line with the standards, the wastewater will be fit for reuse after it is filtered and the EU standards will be met, Zijin promises.  The planned capacity of the flue and waste gas processing plant is 700,000 cubic metres per hour, the sulfur dioxide content of the waste gases will be less than 100 micrograms per cubic metre after treatment, and the particle content will be below five micrograms per normal cubic metre, Zijin said in a press release.  In September of last year, the Bor municipal administration filed a criminal complaint against Zijin which has been causing excessive sulfur dioxide pollution harmful to the health of the population.  The criminal charges were signed by the mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikić, and refer to the managers of the Bor copper smelter, which operates as part of the Chinese company, Zijin.  The Environmental Protection Agency’s (SEPA) measuring stations recorded excessive sulfur dioxide (SO2) pollution in Bor for three days in September 2020, and the excessive pollution was registered almost every day for nearly two years following the Serbian government selling the Bor Smelting Company (RTB Bor) to its strategic partner Zijin, while remaining co-owner of a 37% share in the company.  www.serbianmonitor.com

July 28, 2021 - The city of Bor in Serbia has a decades-old air pollution problem due to its proximity to one of Europe's largest copper mines.  Excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide, a byproduct produced by the copper smelting plant, has threatened the health of its inhabitants and those living in towns and villages close by. But now, for the first time in the town's long history, that problem is on the verge of being resolved thanks to Chinese company Zijin Mining, which acquired the mine and its facilities in 2018.  The company vowed to invest heavily in the eco-revitalization projects and, as soon as possible, start the cutting emissions inline with EU standards. That was the highly expected news among the people in Bor, as they breathe in some of the worst air in Europe. Irena Zivkovic, president of There Is A Choice, a local non-governmental organization, shared some air pollution figures.  "Concentrations above the legal limit have been recorded here daily," explained Zivkovic. "Sulfur dioxide levels went 10 times higher than allowed."  She added: "Five hundred micrograms are allowed per cubic meter of air and we had over 5,000 micrograms, recorded here at the measuring station in the City Park at the town's center."  After Zijin took over the mine, due to the old technology already installed in the smelter those amounts of sulphur dioxide continued to exceed acceptable levels. But when the first investment cycle started, Zijin poured around $750 million into the rejuvenation of the facility. Out of that sum, $126 million was used for tackling the environmental problem. The first results of that endeavor should be felt this August, as Jian Ximing, general manager of Serbia Zijin Copper, told us.  "One of the most important work areas is the flue gas treatment system, which will start working this August. From then on, the emission of sulfur dioxide will be reduced by more than 95 percent. It means emissions in the future will account for less than 5 perSulfur dioxide, which had been pumped into the atmosphere, will be turned into 30,000 tons of gypsum every year in an enormous new facility that will be in operation soon. The gypsum, which can be used as a base for plaster will be sold to the construction industry.   The Serbian government considers the reduction of emissions as a top priority, as Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic told CGTN Europe during her visit to Zijin's plant.  "I'm here to support these efforts. Our ministry works a lot with Zijin and we communicate daily. We are interested in all these projects being finalized. We want to have increased smelter capacity, to open a new mine in October and we want the environmental protection to meet EU standards," Mihajlovic explained.  Since August, for the first time since copper processing started here, the citizens of Bor will be able to breathe fresh air.  cent of previous levels, which will fulfill EU standards."

February 28, 2020
- Zijin Bor Copper, the Serbian unit of China's Zijin Mining Group, targets a profit of $8.5 million (7.7 million euro) this year, the metallurgy director of Zijin Bor Copper, Lan Shicong, has said.  "A series of measures will reduce the cost of copper cathodes from $649 to $600 per tonne in the first half of the year, down to $550 per tonne in the second six months," Shicong said in remarks published in the latest edition of Zijin Bor Copper corporate newsletter Kolektiv.  The company plans to process 437,000 tonnes of copper concentrate and produce 122,000 tonnes of anodes, 90,000 tonnes of cathodes, 370,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid, 1,833 kg of gold and 11.9 tonnes of silver in 2020.  Last year, Zijin Bor Copper produced 102,842 tonnes of anodes, 83,470 tonnes of cathodes, 1,452 kg of gold and 14,502 kg of silver, Shicong said.  The Chinese group injected $350 million in the capital of Serbian copper mining and smelting company RTB Bor in December 2018, acquiring majority ownership, and renamed it to Zijin Bor Copper.

November 19, 2019
- China's Zijin Mining Group plans to invest 200 million euro ($221 million) in revamping and expanding the current capacities of Serbian copper mining and smelting complex Bor which it controls, local media reported.Zijin is currently drafting a project for the planned overhaul and for the planned expansion of the smelter's annual capacity of 80,000 tonnes of copper concentrate to 200,000 tonnes within a four-year period, news daily Vecernje Novosti quoted Bor mayor Aleksandar Milikic as saying on Monday.Parallel with this, the Chinese company will invest in the purchase and installation of special converter machines that will increase the purity of copper concentrate to 99.8% from current 62%, Milikic said.Zjin also plans to build a new plant for sulphuric acid production, which will help raise the annual output of sulphuric acid up to 1.0 million tonnes, Milikic added. The existing plant produces some 400,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid per annum.In addition, Zjin intends to build a new facility for treatment of waste water and gases, aiming to capture as much as 99.8% of all hazardous gases released in the production."All this is necessary considering the expected opening of new mines in Bor and Majdanpek, following which the processing capacities need to increase with a maximum alignment to the environment protection rules," Milikic said.Bor and Majdanpek are both located in eastern Serbia.

December 18, 2018 - Zijin International Finance Company Limited, part of Zijin Mining Group, acquires a 63% stake in RTB Bor DOO through a capital increase by injecting USD 350 mln (EUR 306.9 mln) in the company. RTB Bor DOO changes its name to Zijin Bor Copper DOO. 

October 1, 2018 - Serbia’s competition regulator approves the acquisition of a majority stake in RTB Bor DOO by Zijin Mining Group.

August 31, 2018 - Serbia's government picks China's Zijin Mining Group as a strategic partner in RTB Bor DOO. The Chinese company will hold a majority stake in the company and invest in it more than USD 1.2 bln (EUR 1.1 bln). Apart from the planned investment, Zijin Mining Group is obliged to recapitalise the company with USD 350 mln. The Chinese company also agrees to keep all 5,000 jobs at RTB Bor DOO and invest a further USD 200 mln in settling the company's debts.

November 6, 2017 -
Serbian state-run copper miner and smelter RTB Bor's managing director Blagoje Spaskovski said the company has completed a revamp of its sulphuric acid factory that will treble the unit's output. The project has increased the factory's output capacity to 155,000 cubic metres of sulphur dioxide (SO2) per hour from 50,000 cubic metres, Spaskovski said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug on Sunday. The revamp project involved the overhaul of the hot air soldering station of the factory and was carried out by technicians from RTB Bor with the support of specialists from Siemens.RTB Bor will use the sulphuric acid for the production of synthetic fertilisers, which Serbia has been importing so far, Spaskovski added.In September, Serbia's energy ministry Aleksandar Antic said he expected RTB Bor to record earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $75 million (64.7 million euro) in 2017.

December 24, 2014
A ceremonial opening of a new smelting plant and a sulfuric acid factory was staged in Bor on Tuesday, marking the beginning of a new stage in the development of metallurgy and copper production in the Mining and Smelting Basin (RTB) Bor, eastern Serbia.  “A miracle has been created in the RTB Bor,” Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said at the ceremony and pointed out that Serbia has got a modern plant and one of the most advanced sulfuric acid factories in Europe.  “We have showed that we can build even the most modern facilities,” said Vucic and thanked all companies that worked hard over the last three years so that the works could be completed on time.  He pointed out that thereby RTB Bor has secured itself a good reference for other jobs in Serbia.  “This is a great day for all of us,” the prime minister said, stressing that the new smelting plant will encourage the development of metallurgy and ensure a better future for citizens of Bor and entire eastern Serbia.  Vucic said that the management of RTB Bor now has an assignment in the period from six months to a year a half to clear bottlenecks and prepare all three mines – Cerovo, Krivelj and Cerovo Primarno for increased extraction of ore.  RTB Bor Director General Blagoje Spaskovski stated that it is a true feat to realize a greenfield investment in times of crisis, adding that EUR 250 million was invested in the construction of the smelting plant.  He underlined that Serbia has obtained the most modern facility with great support from the government, adding that owing to this investment, the participation of RTB Bor in GDP will be increase next year, and nearly double in three years.  “We will earn EUR 12 million annually with imported concentrates, and in two and a half years we will use our ore concentrate, once Krivelj, Majdanpek and Bor pit are ready,” said Spaskovski.  He said that the power plant of 1.6 megawatts was also built and it is expected to produce 30 percent of energy needed for the smelter and the sulfuric acid factory.  Canadian Ambassador to Serbia Phillip Pinnington said that the Canadian government is very proud of its role in this project because by investing in RTB Bor, Canada has become one of the biggest financiers in Serbia with more than a billion dollars.  Pinnington said that the Canadian company SNC Lavalin is very pleased that it contributed to the design and construction of the most modern plants in the region, which will increase capacities for production of copper, gold and silver.  Pointing out that Canada is known as a leader in responsible mining and for its commitment to environmental protection, Pinnington underlined that the new plant will enable a greater scope of geological research along with reducing the level of environmental pollution.  The modernization of the smelter in Bor will reduce the emission of harmful substances in the air, water and land below the value envisaged by the law, while at the same time, 98 percent of sulfur dioxide and copper will be used, which will meet the ecological standards in Serbia and the European Union.  The new smelter will produce 80 thousand tons of copper annually and process 400 thousand tons of concentrate at a fairly lower price since the costs will decrease from the current USD 1,250 per ton to around USD 700.  The main constructor is Canadian “SNC Lavalin”, and its subcontractor and the owner of autogenous flash-smelting technology “Outokumpu” is the Finnish company “Outotec”.  The local works have been entrusted to Serbian company Energoprojekt, which brought together 24 companies, and supervision of all works was carried out by the Belgrade Faculty of Civil Engineering.  A large part of the installed elements in the smelter and the sulfuric acid plant are manufactured in Serbia, and around 800 workers were engaged in the project.

July 18, 2011
- RTB Bor, Serbia’s only copper miner and smelter, raised its copper output by more than a third in the first six months and produced more gold and silver.  The state-run company produced 14,000 tons of copper, or 34 percent more than a year ago, the company said in an e- mailed statement. Gold and silver production increased 10 percent and 20 percent respectively, it said without specifying quantities. RTB Bor produced 722 kilograms of gold and 4.82 tons of silver in 2010.  “We expect the trend of rising production to continue throughout the year,” RTB Bor spokeswoman Gorica Toncev- Vailic said. The bigger output came as RTB Bor’s three mines produced 5.7 million tons of ore in the six months, the most in 10 years, she said.  RTB Bor, which also processes copper concentrate from other sources, said its output included 36,300 tons of sulphuric acid in the period.  Serbia failed three times to sell RTB Bor before deciding to invest in it amid rising commodity prices. The company broke even in 2010 for the first time after two decades of losses.

July 1, 2011 - Balkans reported that Mr Nebojsa Ciric Serbian minister of economy and regional development and Mr Oliver Dulic minister of environment, mining and spatial planning, were present when the foundation stone was laid marking the beginning of construction of a new smeltery and a sulphuric acid factory at the mining and metallurgical complex RTB Bor.  Mr Ciric recalled that besides investing in the smeltery, the government this year invested more than EUR 30 million in mines in Bor and Majdanpek as well as signed an agreement on the construction of new copper flotation lines in these two towns.  He announced that works to revive Cerovo copper mine near Bor are to begin soon and once they are completed, Serbia will have the most modern copper mine in Europe which will hire young people and experts from the entire Serbia. The construction of the new facilities will cost EUR 135 million and these funds will be procured from a loan allocated by the Canadian EDC Bank. Guarantees were provided by the Serbian government.  Mr Ciric said that the new smelting plant should be finished by 2014, adding that the contractor company is Energoprojekt, while the copper smeltery will be built by Canadian company SNC Lavalin.  Mr Dulic underlined that the new smelting plant will operate according to EU standards and this town will stop being the black ecological spot of Serbia. With the construction of a new sulfuric acid plant, 98.5% of sulfur dioxide will be refined into sulfuric acid. The this percentage at the moment is only 30%. With the new smelting plant and the current price of copper on the stock exchange, RTB Bor could start making up to USD 1 billion per year.  He said that this is the biggest investment in mining and the Serbian government is planning to invest EUR 3 billion in this sector in the course of next year.

June 29, 2011 - Serbian Minister of Economy and Regional Development Nebojsa Ciric and Minister of Environment, Mining and Spatial Planning Oliver Dulic were present yesterday when the foundation stone was laid marking the beginning of construction of a new smeltery and a sulphuric acid factory at the mining and metallurgical complex RTB Bor.   Ciric recalled that besides investing in the smeltery, the government this year invested more than €30 million in mines in Bor and Majdanpek, as well as signed an agreement on the construction of new copper flotation lines in these two towns.  He announced that works to revive Cerovo copper mine near Bor are to begin soon and once they are completed, Serbia will have the most modern copper mine in Europe which will hire young people and experts from the entire Serbia, he observed.  The construction of the new facilities will cost €135 million and these funds will be procured from a loan allocated by the Canadian EDC Bank. Guarantees were provided by the Serbian government.  

Ciric said that the new smelting plant should be finished by 2014, adding that the contractor company is Energoprojekt , while the copper smeltery will be built by Canadian company SNC-Lavalin.  Dulic underlined that the new smelting plant will operate according to EU standards and this town will stop being the black ecological spot of Serbia.  With the construction of a new sulfuric acid plant, 98.5% of sulfur dioxide will be refined into sulfuric acid, he said, adding the this percentage at the moment is only 30%.   With the new smelting plant and the current price of copper on the stock exchange, RTB Bor could start making up to $1 billion per year.  He said that this is the biggest investment in mining and the Serbian government is planning to invest €3 billion in this sector in the course of next year.  Serbia is a country rich in ore whose capacities are underused, Dulic noted.

January 21, 2011 - Outotec has signed a contract with SNC-Lavalin, a Canadian engineering and construction company, to design and deliver a new copper flash smelting furnace and related services to RTB Bor's smelter in Serbia. The contract value exceeds EUR 60 million.  RTB Bor is currently operating an old reverb type copper smelter and plans to replace it with Outotec® Flash Smelting Furnace, which will significantly improve the environmental performance of the plant.  Outotec's turnkey delivery includes engineering and license for a new flash smelting furnace, equipment supplies, procurement, as well as construction and commissioning services. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2013 and the new facility will produce annually 80,000 tons of copper anode while reducing liquid and gaseous emission levels to European standards.   "This contract demonstrates the strong drive for sustainability in the metallurgical industry. Outotec® Flash Smelting technology is the cleanest method available for the treatment of copper sulfide ores. In addition, it provides considerable savings in energy consumption compared to other corresponding technologies. With a mission of sustainable use of Earth's natural resources, we are continuously developing our technologies and services to help our customers, such as RTB Bor, provide a healthier environment for the citizens", says Outotec CEO Pertti Korhonen.  

December 13, 2010 - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic said on Friday that reconstruction of the copper flotation facility in the RTB Bor mining and metallurgical complex and construction of a new sulphur factory will boost the efficiency of copper exploitation.  After visiting RTB Bor and meeting with representatives of the local self-government and the company, Dinkic said that this will help RTB Bor become the leading cooper producer in southeastern Europe.  He also highlighted the importance of today’s visit made by the Ministry’s delegation, representatives from SNC Lavalin , Export Development Canada (EDC), the World Bank and the Canadian Ambassador in Serbia to Bor.  Dinkic recalled that the Export Development Canada approved a loan of €175 million for building a new smelting plant and sulphur factory, which will help finally resolve the problem of environmental pollution in this town.  By building these two facilities, emission of sulphur dioxide will be reduced 400 times and of carbon dioxide up to 40 times, he underlined.  The Serbian parliament has already ratified the loan, so the first €23 million will be withdrawn by the end of the year, another €100 million next year, while the rest will be withdrawn in 2012.  The Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that an agreement was reached with the RTB Bor management on how to start reconstruction of copper ore flotation facility, given the fact that the price of copper on the world market reached a record high of nearly $9,000 per tonne and is expected to further increase because of the increasing use of metal in "green" technologies.  He specified that €17 million will be invested next year in the new automatic machine for flotation, which will reduce energy consumption and increase the efficiency of copper ore up to 90%.  RTB Bor’s new smelter and sulfuric acid plant will become the largest copper producer in Southeast Europe, the Minister said.

December 10, 2010 - Serbia plans to draw the first tranche of a $175 million-euro ($231 million) loan from Export Development Canada, the country’s export-financing arm, later this month to start building a new copper smelting unit and a sulphuric acid plant, Deputy Prime Minister Mladjan Dinkic said today.  The government plans to draw 23 million euros this month, 100 million euros in 2011 and the rest in 2012, dinkic was cited as saying in an e-mailed statement issued by his cabinet.  “With the new smelter and the sulphuric acid plant, sulphur-dioxide emissions will be 400 times lower and carbon-dioxide emissions will be 40 times lower,” Dinkic said during the visit to RTB Bor, Serbia’s unprofitable copper mining and smelting complex, which the government had dailed to privatize.  EDC had approved the 10-year loan, with a three-year grace period, after the Canadian SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. was chosen as the contractor and Finnish supplier of engineering services Outotec Oyj as the subcontractor for the project.

September 20, 2010 - A source of wealth for more than a century as home to one of Europe's largest copper mines, Serbia's Bor has struggled for years to attract foreign investment and heal its soiled environment.  RTB Bor, the state-owned company that thrived two decades ago as Yugoslavia's largest copper mine and smelter, fell into disrepair during the 1990s wars, international embargo and mismanagement under President Slobodan Milosevic.  "Our technology dates from 1961 and 1971 and we are in dire need of renewing it," Chief Executive Blagoje Spaskovski told Reuters.  Decades of mining with Soviet-era technology have scarred the region, home to about 60,000 people and around 250 km (155.3 miles) southeast of Belgrade.  "We went decades without investment, without new mines and technology such as a new foundry," Slobodan Milosavljevic, Serbia's trade minister, told Reuters.  Serbia's efforts to sell RTB Bor failed in 2007 and 2008 as two potential buyers, Romania's Cuprom and Austria's A-Tec, failed to meet terms of the tender.  In June, the RTB Bor and Canada's SNC Lavalin signed a 175 million euro ($210.7 million) contract to build a copper smelter and a sulphuric acid factory. About 135 million euros will come from a loan from Export Development Canada, Canada's export credit agency.  Serbia has pledged the remaining 40 million euros as well as another 27 million euros in mining equipment.   "Without 400 or 500 million euros (from privatization) , plus investments in the smelter, we will rather continue to dig and process (copper) alone," Milosavljevic said. 
In the 1980s, RTB Bor had an annual output of about 180,000 tonnes and disposal of about 5,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid, 350 tonnes of arsenic and 35 tonnes of zinc in vast dumps of processed ore.  Studies of the Borska Reka river show its riverbed is now so heavily polluted with copper, iron, aluminum, lead and cadmium, that more than 60 percent of Bor's fertile soil is irreparably damaged, said Dragan Jankucic of the Agenda 21 environmental group.   Environmentalists fear the Borska Reka could poison more than just its immediate surroundings.  "It flows to the Timok River and then to the Danube. If toxic waste from processed ore dumps goes into the Danube Basin through the Borska Reka riverbed, the damage could be disastrous," Jankucic said.  Rosa Milojkovic from the village of Slatina, just outside Bor said her cattle would die immediately if they drank the river's brown and grey water.  "When the river flooded our fields, we had to remove all the soil and bring new dirt from kilometers away," she said.  According to 2007 research by the LEAP, an environmental group, samples from Bor's population showed excess levels of arsenic in their urine and blood, with most suffering from at least two recurring pollution-related diseases.  "There are so many young people sick in our village ... Women are dying from cancers and men from heart attacks," said villager Milojkovic.  Bor children are also more prone to illness than any other age group, with 71 percent diagnosed with related illnesses at some point, most often with respiratory diseases, another government-sponsored study showed.  "Women usually first notice sulphur dioxide pollution when it rains. With water it forms sulphuric acid and their stockings start to melt," Spaskovski said.  In an effort to boost environmental protection, the World Bank has granted RTB Bor a 10-year, interest-free loan of 35 million euros on condition that 25 million euros are allocated to resolving the most urgent problems.  "Some efforts have been made in 2009 and 2010 and things have improved a tad," said environmentalist Jankucic.  The development of a new smelter and sulphuric acid factory should also help. "Both projects will greatly improve environmental protection," Bor CEO Spaskovski said.  "Sulphur oxide ... kills in time. One of the first conditions from our tender that was accepted by the SNC Lavalin was that the usage of sulphur oxide must be at 98.5 percent and its emissions reduced."  Spaskovski also said that the company now wants "to return Borska Reka to a condition which was given to it by God or nature. Waste dumps for processed ore ... must be covered with a layer of greenery."  The future of Bor in the European Union applicant country remains a big question mark important for the wider economy.  The jobs at RTB Bor are vital in its impoverished area of eastern Serbia and the government wants to avoid stirring up protests ahead of 2012 elections. Yet government officials are also questioning its long-term feasibility.  "The key issue is do we have more reserves of copper or not there or in the vicinity. If not, there's no justification for investments ... if there's copper, then we need to invest much more," Trade Minister Milosavljevic said.

June 11, 2010 - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic attended the signing of a contract between representatives of the RTB Bor mining and metallurgical complex and the Canadian company SNC Lavalin concerning the designing and construction of a new smelting facility and sulphur factory in Bor Thursday.  The agreement was signed by CEO of RTB Bor Blagoje Spaskovski and Lavalin representative Walter Mutler.  Speaking after the signing, Dinkic said that the project will cost €175 million, of which €135 million will come from a loan from Canada’s export credit agency Export Development Canada and €40 million will be provided by the Serbian government.  The loan is to be paid over 10 years, with a grace period of three years and an annual interest rate of 2.9%, he specified.  The deadline for finishing the project is 36 months and work will begin on 1 July, he stated, adding that the project will lead to cost effective production and ecological benefits.  This investment is a turning point in the development of RTB Bor and Serbia, considering that the construction of the new smelter and factory will create a large number of jobs, observed Dinkic.  The project will help increase the utilisation level of raw materials - gold, silver and sulphur dioxide - from 9% to 98% and it is estimated that RTB Bor will increase its annual profit by $26.2 million, he stressed.  Mutler emphasised that the entire region will benefit from this project, the first positive effects becoming visible over the next few months.  Bor will receive the best in technology and its people will be able to breathe cleaner air, Mutler declared, adding that hundreds, even thousands of new jobs will also become available.  The signing of the agreement was also attended by Canadian Ambassador to Serbia John Morrison. Source: Government

June 10, 2010 - Serbia on Thursday contracted Canadian SNC Lavalin construction company to build a new smelter and a sulphuric acid factory at its largest copper miner RTB Bor, the economy ministry said.  Most of the 175 million euro (212 million dollar) project will be financed from a loan by Export Development Canada (EDC) bank, while 40 million euros are to be provided by RTB Bor and the Serbian government, the ministry said in a statement.  The smelter will be completed in three years and is expected to increase RTB Bor's profit at least 20 million euros per year, Serbian Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said.  Serbia gave up planned privatisation of the copper mine after four tenders failed due to a lack of interest of foreign investors.  The mining company was a key contributor to Serbia's industrial sector before the collapse of communist Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.  But it became a burden on the country's struggling economy because of mismanagement and international sanctions during the 1990s regime of late president Slobodan Milosevic.  Due to a lack of investment and outdated technology, RTB Bor's copper annual production dropped to less than 40,000 tonnes in 2005 from more than 170,000 tonnes before 2000.  Its sale had been a contentious issue among Serbian and international experts. The company which employs around 4,000 workers has an estimated debt of about 600 million dollars, two-thirds of it to the state.  After Milosevic's ouster in 2000, the World Bank advised Serbia to close RTB Bor down unless willing investors could be found.

April 7, 2010 - Together with Canadian Ambassador to Belgrade John Morrison and representatives of the SNC-Lavalin Company, Dinkic visited the RTB Bor mining complex, for which a new investment cycle has been announced, including the construction of a new smelting facility, a refinery and a sulphuric acid factory.  Dinkic said that the construction of new facilities will be financed via a very favourable loan granted by the Export Development Canada (EDC) bank, in the amount of €135 million. The loan was secured thanks to guarantees provided by the Republic of Serbia, Dinkic noted adding that the contractor is Canadian company SNC-Lavalin.  The Deputy Prime Minister said that this is the most serious investment cycle in the last 30 years, specifying that €27 million will be invested in mining equipment.  During Tuesday's  tour of the Veliki Krivelj open pit, Dinkic officially put a new damper into operation. The new equipment installed includes ten trucks that can transport 220 tonnes each, two excavators, two bulldozers, a drill and a grader.   Investment in this mine is an investment in the future because there will be new jobs for young engineers and new employees, which will contribute to the development of the entire region of eastern Serbia, he said.  He added that this investment will also provide a healthier environment for the citizens of Bor.  It is important to invest in Bor, because copper is a strategic raw material, with its value on the world stock market having recovered faster than that of other metals, said the Minister and explained that copper is increasingly used in the production of clean technologies.   The Minister said that the agreement on financing is to be signed with the EDC by 20 May, after which the document should be ratified in the Serbian parliament.  The EDC’s loan will be granted under very favourable conditions, with a grace period of three years, 14 semi-annual payments and an effective interest rate of approximately 2.9% per annum, concluded Dinkic. Source: Government of Serbia. Source: Government of Serbia.

October 19, 2009 - Serbia will invest 160 million euros in RTB Bor copper through Canadian financing, Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said.   "135 million euros will be invested in a new smelter and sulfuric acid plant, which should be built in two to three years. The rest of the money is going to be used for the purchase of mining equipment," Dinkic told reporters.  "We had talks with the Canadian Agency for Export Insurance (www.edc.ca) and they offered us a loan on favorable terms. So we will have that 160 million euros from Canada."  The state will retain ownership of RTB Bor for some time and continue investments as the price of copper on world markets has increased, the minister added.  Serbia tried three times to privatize the company but each attempt was canceled due to violation of the agreement or withdrawal by interested parties.

November 12, 2008 - Serbia's Privatisation Agency launched a tender for state-owned cooper mine and smelter RTB Bor for the fourth time, with the starting price set at EUR 232 million, the Privatisation Agency said.  The deadline for placing bids for the 67% of RTB Bor, was set for January 30, 2009.  Companies involved in copper production, trading or processing with 2007 revenuers of more than EUR 393 million will be allowed to bid, the agency said.  The Serbian government will keep the remainder of the shares including the right to veto over important decisions such as relocations of facilities and production stoppages.  The prospective buyer of RTB Bor will be required to take over all EUR 309 million worth of company debts and to complete welfare and environmental protection programs.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

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