Mineral exploration company Adriatic Metals is set to commence production at its Vares Silver Project in central Bosnia in November 2023, according to the company’s CEO Paul Cronin. The project, located in the Vares municipality of the Zenica-Doboj Canton, covers a concession area of 41km².
The Vares project was previously an operating open-pit mine, producing lead, zinc, and barite concentrates before suspending operations in 1988. It consists of two mineral resources: the Rupice underground deposit and the Veovaca open-pit deposit, located 11km apart.
In 2017, Adriatic Metals determined the economic viability of the Rupice deposit following its acquisition earlier that year. The company now expects to produce 65,000 tonnes of lead-silver concentrate and 90,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate from 800,000 tonnes of polymetallic ore.
Cronin highlighted the potential growth this project brings to Bosnia’s GDP, estimating a 2% increase. He also expressed optimism about the future of mining in Bosnia, citing the country’s significant potential for exploration and the development of new mines.
Adriatic Metals has invested $40m in exploration work at the mine and has approved an additional $30m for further exploration activities. The company has decided to rebuild an old mining plant and construct a 25km road connecting Vares to Zenica, taking into account the environmental and health risks associated with the mine.
Furthermore, the company plans to restore a railway line to facilitate ore shipment through Sarajevo to the port of Ploce in Croatia, and from there to smelters in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and Italy. Adriatic Metals has specifically developed products that suit European smelters, aiming to reduce Europe’s dependence on metals from other regions.
Overall, the Vares Silver Project represents a significant opportunity for economic growth in Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the potential for increased exploration and the development of new mining ventures.
– Adriatic Metals plans to produce from 2023 (Reuters)