June 15 (SeeNews) - Serbia will become Europe's second-largest copper producer in the fourth quarter of 2021, when China's Zijin Mining Group is set to open a mine in the Cukaru Peki Upper Zone of the Timok copper-gold project, Serbia's energy ministry said.
The energy ministry has issued an approval for the construction of mining facilities and execution of mining operations in Cukaru Peki which will increase Serbia's share of Europe's total copper output to 18% from 5% and the country will become the second largest producer on the continent after Poland, it said in a statement on Monday.
Serbia's Zijin Bor Copper, majority owned by the Chinese group, is investing $474 million (390 million euro) in the development of the mine, which will have a capacity to produce 3.3 million tonnes of ore per year, the energy ministry said.
The Timok copper and gold project located in eastern Serbia consists of the Cukaru Peki Upper Zone and Lower Zone. Rakita Exploration, a subsidiary of Zijin Mining Group, owns 100% of the Cukaru Peki Lower Zone.
The Chinese group injected $350 million in the capital of Serbian copper mining and smelting company RTB Bor in December 2018, acquiring majority ownership, and renamed it to Zijin Bor Copper.
($ = 0.840565 euro)
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