The expansion of mining activities continues in Serbia with significant quantities of various metals and non-metals hidden in Serbian mines and more copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold are currently being exploited.
Mining industry experts note that it is important that, in parallel with the opening of new mines, a support industry is being developed to maximize the benefits of the raw materials themselves while, at the same time, much more attention is now being paid to environmental protection in the mining sector than ever before.
Miroslav Ignjatovic, from the Energy Association of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, says that there are 200 exploitation areas, with 127 still in exploration, in Serbia where extensive research of the country’s mineral wealth is underway.
The latest news is that the Canadian mining research company, Medgold Resources, which previously said that it had found sure signs of abundant deposits of precious metals in southern Serbia, right on the border with Bulgaria and Macedonia, has now confirmed those results. The company said it had found about seven million tonnes of ore, about 680,000 ounces or 19.3 tonnes of gold, worth just over $1 billion in a single site covered by the project called Tlamino.
It is estimated that Serbia’s mining sector has about a 2% share in the country’s GDP. Structure-wise, about 90% or estimated 2% of GDP is made up of minerals, coal, oil and natural gas, as well as copper.
Moreover, 10% is the production of lead and zinc and non-metallic minerals, mainly aggregates of stone, sand and gravel and raw materials for the cement industry.
In regard to the distribution of resources, Eastern Serbia is dominated by copper and gold and sometimes lead and zinc. There are also uranium deposits in Stara Planina. In central Serbia, there are deposits of lead, zinc, uranium, as well as gold and silver.
In the western part of Serbia, in the Podrinje region, there are many deposits of antimony that are no longer exploited, as well as lead and zinc.
Nickel and chromium are found in several places in Serbia, especially in the central part, near Arandjelovac, Vrnjacka Banja, in the west in Mokra Gora, while chromium is found in Tara, Zlatibor and Deli Jovan. There are bauxite (raw material for aluminium) deposits in Tara, Zlatibor, near Poçuta and near Babušnica. There are also deposits of non-metals and coal, and in Vojvodina there are deposits of natural gas and crude oil, as well as deposits of different types of clay.
Estimates show that total resources and reserves of lead and zinc, including the mines in Kosovo and Metohija, reach around 100 million tonnes and coal deposits around ten billion tonnes, says Mijatovic.
There are smaller reserves of brown coal, which is exploited underground, while gold reserves cannot be estimated precisely, but it is assumed that there are about a few dozen tons of gold as metals, not including the deposits in Bor. Copper resources are estimated at several billion tonnes, both proven ore reserves and resources still under research.