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China's Zijin to explore options to operate Serbia's Lece lead-zinc mine - Vucic

Author Radomir Ralev
China's Zijin to explore options to operate Serbia's Lece lead-zinc mine - Vucic Aleksandar Vucic; Source: Serbia's President's Office

BELGRADE (Serbia), March 1 (SeeNews) - Serbia's government plans to launch talks with China's Zijin Mining Group to assume the operation of the Lece lead and zinc mine, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said.

Representatives of Zijin will visit Serbia next week to explore the opportunities for assuming the operation of the mine, Vucic said on Thursday, according to a press release issued by the ruling SNS party.

The mine is operated by Rudnik Lece d.o.o., owned by Serbian privately-held insolvent company Farmakom M.B. According to Serbian media reports, since 2015, the mine has been leased to Dubai-based Lifestone Capital LC which sells the produced ore in return for the repayment of debt and the concession fee owed by Rudnik Lece d.o.o.

In 2016 and 2017, the Serbian government carried out several unsuccessful auctions for the sale of Rudnik Lece d.o.o.

Last year, Serbia picked copper mining and smelting company Zijin as a strategic partner in copper producer RTB Bor. Zijin agreed to keep all the 5,000 jobs at the company. In December it injected $350 million (308 million euro) in the capital of RTB Bor, acquiring majority ownership.

($ = 0.8800 euro)

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