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Freeport McMoran and Rio Tinto have their eye on Serbian copper mines

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US Ambassador Michael Kirby said in Bor that one American and one multinational company “Freeport-McMoRan” and “Rio Tinto”were interested in the investment in Serbian mines and the new, modern Law on geology and mining, which has being prepared, would significantly help in attracting new investment in Serbia.

Kirby visited yesterday the Municipality of Bor,Copper mine company Bor and US company”Freeport McMoRan”, which explores new ore deposits in the vicinity of Bor,with co-workers, leaders of company “Freeport McMoRan”, representatives of the company “Rakita Exploration” and Aleksandar Antic, Minister of Energy and Mining.

During a tour of the largest construction sites in the Balkans, a new smelter and sulfuric acid plant within MSB Bor, Kirby said that it was a great pleasure to watch live the construction of the facility and mining operations.

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Now it is very noisy here what shows how big is the desire to finish plant as soon as it is possible and I’m glad that almost seven hundred workersare on the site, much more than a few months ago, when there were 250. The ecological significance of the building is huge and according to the information that I got, the citizens of Bor canexpect much cleaner environmentsoon”, said US Ambassador .

Stating that he had also visited the company “Freeport McMoRan”, which is present here for thirteen years and that explores mineral deposits, Kirby noted that Freeport evaluated opportunities to open another copper mine in Bor.

“Investments in mining mean much for the Government of Republika Srpska, because we all know in which financial situation it is now, andjustmining can significantly aids the development and better economic position”, he stressed, adding that there is another multinational company that is interested in investing in the mining industry in Serbia – “Rio Tinto”.

He said that the Serbian authorities worked hard on the Law on Mining, which, on the one hand, would allow safety in the collection of taxes from mining to the country, and on the other, to the large companies to invest in Serbia.

That Bor and its surroundings have an enormous mining potential which show result of the survey done by the company Freeport McMoRan near Bor, where it has been found a very rich copper ore deposits.

“New, modern Law on geology and mining, which is under construction will significantly help in attracting new investments”,said Kirby.

Asked whether is hefamiliar of rumors that there was a large quantities of arsenicin the ore found in the vicinity of Bor, the ambassador said that often rumorscirculated about everything there was in the country in this part of Serbia.

“What you have firstlyto do is to look what kind of company it is, and the Serbian government must make clear laws to protect citizens from any environmental pollution. US companies are accustomed to co-operate with the representatives of civil society, enabling to be seen exactlywhat and how to deal with, and to provide citizens a quality lifein cooperation with them (civil organizations)”,said Kirby.

General Director of MSB Bor Blagoje Spaskovski said that the investment in the new smelter was huge, but it was even greater importance for the citizens of Bor, who was environmentalon one side, because clean air would be got, and on the other hand, economic, because it provided a better standard of workers and higher economic growth over Serbia.

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