Rio Tinto’s Serb deal

BELGRADE (SeeNews) – Serbia said it has granted a 140-million-euro exploration and operation concession on boron deposit Jarandol to one of the world’s top miners, Rio Tinto. «This is the first mining concession that Serbia has granted in the last 70 years,» the country’s Mining and Energy Minister Radomir Naumov told a news conference after the signing of the contract with Rio Tinto. Naumov said the first five years of the 30-year concession would be dedicated to exploration of the deposit located near the southern town of Baljevac, while the exploitation period will last 25 years. The reserves of are estimated at 7.5 million tons of ore, Naumov said. The boron content in the ore of the Jarandol boron deposit is estimated at 36 percent. Rio Tinto will start investigation activities in the next four months, the company’s representative Adam Parr told the same news conference. The British-Australian firm Rio Tinto has been active in Serbia since 2002 and has invested some 3 million euros in the Southeast European country since then, its representative said.

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