Freeport-McMoran discovers rich copper basins in Serbia’s Bor region - report

By bne IntelliNews August 30, 2013

US firm Freeport-McMoRan, which is searching for copper and gold in Serbia’s eastern mining region of Bor together with Canada's Reservoir Minerals, has discovered ore basins that contain much higher copper concentrate than the one currently produced at Serbian copper smelting and mining complex RTB Bor, daily Novosti reported.

During its exploration works so far on the location of its Cukaru Peki prospect, Freeport-McMoRan has discovered copper ore containing from 0.81% to 10.16% copper, Novosti says, quoting unofficial information. For comparison, the ore now processed at RTB Bor has up to 0.4% copper.

The Cukaru Peki prospect is part of the bigger Timok Project run by a 55/45 joint venture of Freeport-McMoRan and Reservoir Minerals. Cukaru Peki is 5 km away from the Bor mining complex infrastructure where a new flash smelter is being built.

Novosti says that basins containing ore with 1% concentrate are typically considered extremely profitable. According to unofficial information, Freeport-McMoRan’s deposit hides at least 200 million tonnes of ore. Therefore, the basin can allegedly produce some 8.0 million tonnes of copper.

For comparison, over the past 110 years since mining began in the Bor region, nearly 5.0 million tonnes of copper have been produced. Still, according to the report, it will certainly take another several years before Freeport-McMoRan takes a final decision on opening a mine in Serbia.

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