Zijin Mining, China’s largest gold miner and one of the country’s top copper producers, has begun operations at its Cukaru Peki copper and gold mine in Serbia.
The asset, part of the Timok project, is expected to make the Balkan country Europe’s second-largest copper producer. Zijin has poured $474 million to date into the new underground mine, which is slated to have annual capacity of 3.3 million tonnes of ore.
“The first part of the project involves mining an ultra high-grade ore body. It is expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of copper and 3 tonnes of gold in 2021,” it said.
Cukaru Peki was originally slated to begin production in the summer of 2021, with an initial average copper output of 91,000 tonnes a year and annual gold production of about 200,000 ounces. It is now expected to gradually increment output until reaching a peak of 135,000 tonnes of copper a year.
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