Đedović attended the lighting of the flash furnace in the reconstructed smelter of the company Ziđin Koper

Đedović attended the lighting of the flash furnace in the reconstructed smelter of the company Ziđin Koper

Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Djedović today in Bor attended the firing up of the flash furnace in the reconstructed smelter of the company Serbia Zijin Copper, which is a prerequisite for commissioning of the Copper Smelter in which the copper concentrate will be melt in the future, in compliance with the environmental standards.

The Minister expressed the satisfaction she got from being able to witness the start of the history in the making for Bor and thanked the citizens for their patience, all employees of Zijin for their commitment, and Chinese partners for the implementation of this important investment.

"Five years ago, when the company Zijin became a strategic partner of the Republic of Serbia, we set the ambitious goals and vision of the mining we wanted to have in the future. From year to year, we are able to witness the results of this cooperation through the realization of investments, export growth, but also the growth of the number of employees and improving work conditions. All of this has significantly impacted the quality of life of the citizens in this part of Serbia. For the Ministry and the Government, but also for all citizens of Bor, it is of particular importance that the increase in living standards goes hand in hand with the environmental protection, "said Djedović.

She pointed out that, following the completion of the works on the smelter, investments in the environmental protection will become fully meaningful. "In addition to multiple benefits for the company, employees and the state, this smelter is going to deliver what the citizens of Bor have been missing for decades, and that is improved air quality and working conditions. Such large projects also entail a high level of responsibility towards the local community, and it is the government’s task to work on, together with the citizens and the management of the company, finding most efficient and sustainable solutions that would be in the interest of employees, but also in the interest of people who live here", said the Minister.

The rapid development of the mining industry in Bor, following the arrival of the company Zijin, has enabled the raising of the living standard and conditions for all citizens of Bor, but also for everyone in Eastern Serbia, said the mayor of Bor Aleksandar Milikić and reminded that in this city there is the highest average salary per capita in Serbia.

"I am convinced that by applying the state-of-the art technologies and international standards in the field of environmental protection, this project will be able to change the direction of green mining development. Owing to the dedicated efforts of President Aleksandar Vučić, who recognized the importance of the role of a strategic partner, Bor has nowadays become a modern mining city with a high level of economic growth, which is developing on a daily basis, alongside the development of the company," Milikic said.

Instead of fuel oil, coal and other highly polluting materials, the reconstructed smelter will be using clean natural gas, so the concentration of dust particles will not exceed five milligrams per normal cubic meter, which is in accordance with European Union environmental standards, said CEO of Serbia Zijin Copper, Jian Ximing.

"Also, waste industrial waters will be treated and recovered, and the total carbon emissions will be reduced to 0.62 tons of carbon dioxide per tonne of the produced copper cathodes," said Ximing.

He also reminded that in 2021, the company invested USD 30 million only in the construction of the flue gas treatment system. The desulphurization plant, as he pointed out, immediately proved to be extremely efficient, so the sulphur-dioxide emissions were reduced by over 90 percent already in that year.

The project of technical reconstruction, expansion and construction of TIR lasted two and a half years and, according to CEO of Serbia Zijin Copper, USD 320 million was invested for that purpose, out of which 100 million dollars were invested into the systems for environmental protection.

"In addition to the revamping of the flash furnace to the original system, other facilities are newly built. It is a new metallurgical technology and equipment that is leading in this industry. Once the smelter becomes operational, we will be producing 180 to 200 thousand tons of high-purity copper cathodes per year, about three tons of gold and 700 thousand tons of sulphuric acid. The value of the annual production will be exceeding two billion US dollars, and Bor will become a green, low-carbon and sustainable base of non-ferrous metals in Serbia, but also in Europe, "said Ximing.