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15/06/2024
Mining News

A large mine is opening in Bosnia and Herzegovina – it is believed to contain gold

In Vareš, in central Bosnia and Herzegovina, the excavation of a mine that could contain gold is beginning as part of a project that has attracted more than 200 million euros in investment. It is expected to revitalize the area, which has remained completely neglected since the war, prompting mass exodus of residents.

“What we are building here is the most modern facility in the world. We will start producing the first quantities of ore, gradually increasing the amount until we reach 65 tons per month, which we expect to achieve by April this year,” Paul Cronin, the director of Adriatic Metals BH, told Sarajevo’s “Oslobođenje”.

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The company previously obtained a concession for the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources around Vareš, a place historically known for the largest mine in the Balkans, with records indicating exploitation dating back to ancient times.

History of the Vareš Complex

The large processing complex in Vareš was established during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and remained an important industrial center during both Yugoslavias. During the time of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, up to three million tons of ore were annually extracted from the mines around Vareš and processed locally as well as in the Zenica steelworks.

All industrial capacities in Vareš were devastated during the war from 1992 to 1995. Before the war, the majority population in Vareš were Croats, with over nine thousand residents. By 2013, this number had dropped to 2,800. Meanwhile, the number of Bosniaks increased from 6,700 in 1991 to 5,400 in 2013.

Adriatic Metals BH embarked on the project of “reviving” Vareš with the assumption that the surrounding area still hides deposits of iron ore amounting to about 200 million tons. Research confirmed traces of gold, silver, lead, zinc, barite, and copper within these deposits.

The mine will employ 300 workers, and the commencement of production is expected to create up to 2,500 additional jobs in supporting industries.

Adriatic Metals has invested 450 million convertible marks, or just over 230 million euros, into the project so far. They estimate that by 2050, they will be able to produce and sell zinc and lead alone worth more than five billion euros.

Following Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, these raw materials have gained additional value due to their strategic importance to the European Union.

Source : BIZLife

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