Company Rakita Exploration has begun exploratory mining activities in reference to the construction of a decline as part of the geological exploration of copper and gold deposit in hydrothermal system Cukaru Peki in Bor. The official ceremony, which took place on June 4 in Bor, was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, Minister of mining and energy Aleksandar Antic, Canadian Ambassador – Her Excellency Kati Csaba, representatives of the Muncipality of Bor and of the companies Nevsun and Rakita among others.
The project of world-class copper and gold deposit is of exceptional importance to Serbia and represents significant economic potential, both locally and on the national level. Nevsun Resources is a Canadian company engaged in the processing of heavy metals, which operates in Serbia via its subsidiary Rakita Exploration Ltd. In March 2018, Rakita completed the Preliminary Feasibility Study for the Cukaru Peki project, while the Feasibility Study is scheduled to be complete by mid 2019.
“Thanks to the quality of its resources, economic indicators and the size of the investment planned for the opening of the mine, the Cukaru Peki project has earned the reputation of one of the best development projects regarding copper and gold deposits in the world. Nevsun is planning a capital investment of 590 million dollars for the construction of the exploration decline and mine Cukaru Peki in the period from 2018 to 2022. In this period, we expect that our investment will significantly contribute to a rise in employment and development of the Serbian economy, given that contractors involved in the project will engage about a thousand employees, while our company will have approximately 150 employees. Very important for us is the fact that the dynamics of development of the project is entirely in line with the long-term plan and strategy of the Serbian Government to increase the share of the mining sector in GDP to five percent”, said Peter Kukielski, President of Nevsun Resources.
After the opening of the mine, during the period of exploitation, from late 2022 to 2038, the capital investment by Nevsun is expected to include additional 457 million dollars. It is estimated that Rakita will employ about 600 workers during the period of the exploitation of the mine, plus about 300 employees engaged by subcontractors.
The Prime Minister of Serbia said that today is an important date because in Bor begins the work on an investment worth nearly 600 million dollars, which will employ more than a thousand people.
“I would also like to express my thanks to company Nevsun, which has believed in Serbia and brought a lot of resources to our country. This project is important for two reasons. First is the fact that it concerns mining – the sector that occupied an important place in my keynote address and which has significant potential, planned to achieve a five percent share in our GDP. The other reason is balanced regional development. The region of Bor is one of mining centers and with this investment, Bor could improve its status in the next few years. I especially want to thank the Nevsun company for its willingness to cooperate with local enterprises. Canadian companies are known for paying a lot of attention to environmental protection, occupational safety and cooperation with local communities. The Government of the Republic of Serbia will be a partner willing to facilitate projects like this one on a daily basis in order to send a message to young people that they should stay here”, the Prime Minister said on this occasion.
Minister of mining and energy Aleksandar Antic expressed his pleasure to attend the beginning of exploration at one of the biggest copper and gold deposits, saying that our country is experiencing a great expansion of mining activities, that we have 200 fields of exploitation and 127 fields of exploration where great and important exploratory activities are being carried out and in which about 60 million euros have been invested during this year alone.
“The day has come in which we are here to witness the opening of a decline which, formally and legally, represents the final stage of exploration by Rakita, but given that this decline will be used as a part of a mine in the future, I will be free to say that this is a first step toward the opening of the mine, here in Bor. This project is important for our government, but even more so for the people of Bor, because they are those who will benefit from the creation of new jobs, better infrastructure and greater budget income. We can all be proud of the Cukaru Peki project, because here is an ore deposit that will be an important point of copper and gold exploitation on a global level”.
In addition to greenfield investment by Nevsun, Cukaru Peki project will significantly contribute to the development of the local service and supply sectors through involvement of Serbian suppliers and contractors which are able to meet high commercial, technical and safety standards of the Rakita company. Besides, during the period of exploitation of the Cukaru Peki project, Serbia and Bor will have a direct gain of some 450 million dollars from taxes and mining rent.
Canadian Ambassador to Serbia, Kati Csaba, said during her address that she is proud that it is just a Canadian company that stands behind the Cukaru Peki project.
“Serbia has huge potential for development and it has opened the door for investment. When we consider how Nevsun conducts its business, we can be very glad that Canada will help development of Serbia. The Canadian mining industry is known as a leader in the development of high standards of environmental protection and it regularly helps local communities wherever it operates, and will continue to do so when it comes to the Cukaru Peki project as well. I am sure that the support from the Government of Serbia to the companies engaged in exploratory activities and mining will present Serbia as a country worth investment good for doing business”, Csaba said.
Company Rakita conforms to high safety standards, procedures and protocols for its employees, contractors, subcontractors and partners and is dedicated to mitigation and remediation of anything that may affect the environment during the entire cycle of this project. During the construction of the decline, Rakita will do everything necessary to protect the people and environment in conformity with conditions prescribed by the Directorate for Occupational Safety and Health.