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BELGRADE (Serbia), August 7 (SeeNews) - China's Zijin Mining Group plans to launch a project for the expansion of the Majdanpek open pit mine of Serbian copper mining and smelting RTB Bor by the end of 2019, the director of Zijin Serbia said.
"We will begin the reconstruction, expansion and capacity construction in Majdanpek and the smelting factory, as well as investments in the mines of Veliki Krivelj, Jama and Novo Cerovo," Long Ji said in a video file posted on the website of public broadcaster RTS on Tuesday.
In May, Serbian energy minister Aleksandar Antic said Zijin plans to invest up to $200 million (178.5 million euro) in the overhaul of RTB Bor in 2019. The company is expected to increase production of copper ore by 10% and of copper concentrate by 30% this year, Antic added.
The Chinese company intends to invest $1.26 billion to improve the production operations of RTB Bor, open new mines and increase efficiency, Antic said in December. Serbia will become the third-largest copper producer in Europe and the share of the mining industry in Serbia's GDP will grow to 5% from 1%, he noted back then.
Last year, Serbia picked Zijin as a strategic partner in RTB Bor. Zijin agreed to keep all of the current 5,000 jobs at the company.
($ = 0.892638 euro)