Olovo opens up

Metal miner Mineco has brought the Olovo lead carbonate mine into operation, making it Bosnia and Herzegovina’s first new mine in three decades
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The Olovo cerussite mine was abandoned in 1990 during the Bosnian civil war and acquired by UK-based Mineco in 2012

Staff reporter

An opening ceremony was held May 10 at the project, attended by Minister of Energy, Mining and Forestry Nermin Dzindic, British Ambassador Edward Ferguson, and EU delegation and special representative head Lars-Gunnar Wigemark.

As the country's only underground operation, Olovo will employ 120 people. The mine now awaits its ore processing plant, which should be delivered during the June quarter of 2019.

"It's been a long journey to reach this point," Ferguson said. "More work is needed quickly so that this mine can become fully operational."

Mineco COO Dominic Roberts added that the opening would not have been possible without the cooperation of the region's ministries and a "mutual desire for this investment to succeed".

The Olovo project, which came to fruition thanks to a US$7.2 million investment over six years, has been nominated as the first test site for the Horizon 2020 (H2020)-funded IMP@CT project. The programme is seeking to identify a technologically innovative way to bring smaller and more complex mining projects quickly to economic feasibility.

Located 40km north of Sarajevo, the Olovo cerussite mine was acquired by Mineco via tender in 2012. Its target capacity will be 150,000t per year.