China's gold giant Zijin interested in investing in Serbia

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on Monday in Belgradewith representatives of China's Zijin company, Beta agency is reporting.

Source: Beta

The company is interested in a strategic partnership with Serbia's copper mining and smelting complex RTB Bor and an investment worth several hundred million dollars.

Vucic thanked the representatives of the Chinese company for their interest in forging a strategic partnership with the RTB Bor, which only confirms growing interest among Chinese companies in investing in Serbia, the Serbian president's office said in a press release.

Vucic said that Zijin was welcome to take part in the next tender, which the Serbian government planned to publish in the first half of the year, given the traditional friendship between the two states.

The Zijin Mining Group's delegates said they had prepared serious development plans for the RTB Bor and the region at large, with the intention of investing several hundred million dollars in the modernization and restructuring of the company, which would be organized in line with leading international standards.

Zijin is one of China's largest gold producers, the world's second largest copper ore producer, and the third zinc producer.

The Group's plan is to become a leading international mining company by striking a balance between its own development goals, environmental protection, remuneration for employees and investors and the well-being of the communities in which it operates.

The meeting was attended by the Chinese ambassador to Belgrade, Li Manchang.

Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antic said earlier that the candidates for RTB Bor's strategic partner would be companies ready to provide a capital boost for the Serbian mine worth $300 million to $330 million.

The minister said the state would retain a share of the company, not necessarily a majority stake. The plan is to ensure considerable investment in the RTB Bor's new mines, increase copper production based on its own raw materials to 80,000 tons a year, and to maintain the existing employment rate.

Minister Antic said that Chinese, Russian and Canadian companies had expressed interest in the sale. The RTB mining complex is currently in the black, and is one of Serbia's 15 largest exporters.

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