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Kosovo Railways, Ferronikeli in 2.0 Mln Euro Transport Deal

Kosovo Railways, Ferronikeli in 2.0 Mln Euro Transport Deal

PRISTINA (Serbia), July 16 (SeeNews) - Kosovo's railways and mining and smelting complex Ferronikeli signed a 2.0 million euro ($2.76 million) transport deal, the U.N. Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), which has been administrating the Serbian province since 1999, said on Monday.

Under the five-year-contract the railways are to transport some one million tonnes of metal annually from the magnesite mine of Golesh, some 25 kilometres southwest of Kosovo's administrative centre of Pristina to a Feronikeli plant, located in the town of Glogovac in central Kosovo, UNMIK said on its website.

Ferronikeli was sold to a Zurich-based consortium of International Mining Resources (IMR) and the U.K.-based Alferon management company last year for 30.5 million euro, making it the biggest privatisation deal in the province.

Ferronikeli was set up in 1984. It used to produce and export 6,800 tonnes of nickel  in ferro-nickel ingots annually but went idle in 1998, to resume operation recently.

Ferronikeli has a design capacity for 12,000 tonnes of nickel production annually, as well as 13.8 million tonnes of ore in reserves in three open pit mines: the Dushkaja mine with estimated reserves of 6.2 million tones, the Suka mine with 0.8 million tonnes and the Glavica mine with 6.8 million tones.

Croatian real estate developer Iming bought the Golesh and the XIM Strezovc mine earlier this year. The two mines are among the biggest magnesite mines in Europe and are the only magnesite mines in Kosovo.

Kosovo's railways were managed by the NATO-led Kosovo Forces (KFOR) for two years after the end of the war. The management was handed over to UNMIK in March 2001 when cargo and passenger transport resumed.

($=0.7249 euro)