Chinese company Zidjin Rakita is working intensively on the project to open the Čukaru Peki Mine, the exploitation of which could begin in the second half of 2021
The city’s budget is currently funded up to 60 per cent from mining revenues, and it has been possible to increase the transfer funds on the basis of income taxes since Bor regained city status in 2018, says Bor Mayor Aleksander Milikić, speaking to CorD.
Mayor Milikić, you stated recently that Bor will have the highest per capita income in Serbia thanks to the investments of company Zidjin. Has that happened and what does it mean for the budget of the City and the citizens of Bor?
– When it comes to the economy of the state and local government, mining participates greatly in that area. Zidjin, the new strategic partner, is already changing things and will definitely change happenings in Bor, as this city is developing massively and rapidly. Bor’s budget is currently funded up to 60 per cent from mining. We have a rounded story with Zidjin that confirms that the city’s budget will increase threefold over the next four years. Chinese company Zidjin Rakita is working intensively on the project to open the Čukaru Peki Mine, the exploitation of which could begin in the second half of 2021.
Analysis has shown that the opening of the new Čukaru Peki Mine will increase the city budget by almost four billion dinars, that we will be able to invest even more in road infrastructure, sewage and water supply networks, as well as in schools, nurseries… Mining is primarily important for the local population living on the territory where the new mine is being opened, for the city and the local community as a whole, as it will change both the ecology and the economy, and is also important for the investor.
It is important for Bor to have the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
According to a majority of votes among MPs in the National Assembly, Bor’s city status has been restored after 71 years. What does this mean in practise?
– Bor first gained city status in 1947, but subsequent laws on the country’s territorial organisation envisaged it as a municipality.
However, 71 years later, in 2018, it again became a city and the administrative and economic centre of the Bor District. The administration has been ordered in a completely new way, which has to date proved much more efficient, and the status we have been granted provided the basis for us to be able to increase so-called resource transfers on the basis of income tax, which means that about 13 per cent more money has poured into the local budget.
On an area of around 50 hectares that’s managed by the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy in Bor, there have been surveys of the tailings pond for a longer period already. It is presumed that mining waste contains large amounts of gold and other metals. You say that the Institute has a very large role and that this will solve two important issues for the City of Bor – ecology and economy. What precisely do you expect?
– Mining burdens the environment, not only in Bor and Serbia, but all over the world. Environmental policy measures, apart from contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment, should also contribute to increasing income. No matter how good the process of production and what is being done are, there is always some relationship between ecology and economics, and that is precisely one of the challenges that awaits us in the years ahead.
The local government has a great role to play, because it can send its opinions and views to the ministries of mining and environmental protection, and to the government, in order to keep them up to speed with the challenges on the ground that need to be resolved. It is very important for us to have a successful institution like the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, in which the City of Bor has a 12.92% share of the capital.