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BELGRADE (Serbia), September 10 (SeeNews) - China's Zijin Mining Group plans to build a copper smelter at the Majdanpek open pit mine in Serbia, energy minister Aleksandar Antic has said.
"We expect Zijin to apply for approval of the construction works by the end of this year. We hope that by then, first activity on the project will be launched," Antic said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug on Monday.
Zijin plans to use all technological and environmental solutions applied in China in mines in Serbia, Antic said during a visit to the headquarters of the company in Shanghang.
"One of the first steps we will take in Serbia will be to increase production and revamp the Jama and Cerovo mines in Majdanpek and modernise the technological process in the smelter," the senior executive vice president of Zijin, George Fang, said in the video file.
Last month, the director of Zijin Serbia, Long Ji, said the company plans to launch a project for expansion of the Majdanpek open pit mine by the end of this year.
The Chinese group injected $350 million (316.8 million euro) 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.
The Chinese company intends to invest $1.26 billion to improve the production operations of RTB Bor, open new mines and increase efficiency, Antic said in December. Serbia will become the third-largest copper producer in Europe and the share of the mining industry in Serbia's GDP will grow to 5% from 1%, he noted back then.
($ = 0.905055 euro)