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BELGRADE (Serbia), March 13 (SeeNews) - China's Zijin Mining Group has expressed interest in investing $100 million (81.1 million euro) in the modernisation and restructuring of Serbian state-run copper mining and smelting company RTB Bor, the Serbian president's office has said.
Zijin Mining Group is interested in entering a strategic partnership with the Serbian government in the capital of RTB Bor, as it has firm plans for the development of the company, the Serbian president's office said in a statement on Monday.
Zijin Mining Group plans to become a leading international mining company by establishing a balance between its own business goals and the environmental protection while providing benefits to employees, investors and communities where it operates, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said after a meeting with representatives of Zijin Mining Group.
The Serbian government would consider a company ready to make a capital injection of between $300 million and $330 million in RTB Bor to be a very attractive potential strategic partner, energy minister Aleksandar Antic said earlier this month.
Serbia's government said in December it plans to launch a tender for the privatisation of RTB Bor by the end of March. Discussions with potential investors are underway, including on addressing environmental risks, the government said in a letter of intent sent to the IMF following the completion of the Eighth Review of Serbia’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the Fund in February.
A Serbian court approved in July 2016 a plan for the restructuring of RTB Bor, allowing the write-off of 90% of the company's unsecured debt. Under the plan, the remaining 10% will be repaid over eight years with a one-year grace period, while the secured debt will be converted into equity.
($ = 0.811154 euro)