Branislav Grbović, Project Director & Regional Director Southern Europe (SE) Mining and Minerals

No Deficit of Mining Wealth Imminent

Wood is among the world's largest international engineering companies, employing as many as 60,000 people in 60 countries worldwide, while it has been operating in the Balkans for the past 15 years

Branislav Grbović

We are fortunate to serve a broad range of industrial markets, including all energy sectors, processing and refining, utilities, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing, and we leverage our experience to provide innovative and flexible solutions to our clients.

How are reserves of ores and minerals in our part of the world? What are the largest projects you’re currently working on in Southeast Europe?

Wood logo– There is great interest in mining reserves in Southeast Europe. Fortunately, a generally stable environment and a constantly improving investment climate have created many opportunities for experienced companies to work alongside local experts and stakeholders to explore this potential.

Southeast Europe is one of the regions where we’ve been operating and have established a permanent presence for over 15 years, delivering studies and projects for the mineral resources industry in countries such as Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia, Romania and Turkey. Examples of our most recent projects delivered in the region include the Copler Gold Project in Turkey and DPM’s Krumovgrad Gold Project in Bulgaria. This showcase project is the first greenfield mining project in the EU in over 25 years to be fully permitted and put into commercial production.

The reality is that – when it comes to technology and tapping into global sites – we have only just scratched the surface

The mining business has always been considered among the most difficult. How much has that changed with the advancement of technology? To what extent are today’s work processes automated and optimised?

– Recent advancements in technology have most definitely impacted on the business, and that includes process automation and optimisation. For example, digital performance management can automate reporting and offer real-time data that facilitates strategic decision-making. That being said, mining can sometimes prove unpredictable, which is why a company needs a strong team of professionals who can assess and adapt processes as required. We are unable to develop technology proactively without a profound understanding of the terrain, deposits and all surrounding environmental factors, which is why technology hasn’t replaced human experts, but rather serves to empower them with extensive insight.

Will we face a shortage of mining wealth in the coming decades or will we – thanks to companies like yours – discover new sites around the world?

– There is an ongoing public misconception that we are on the verge of exhausting resources and that a shortage of mining wealth is imminent. The reality is that when it comes to technology and tapping into global sites – we have only just scratched the surface. Ongoing innovation of mining technology, as well as increasing globalisation, are opening up new avenues for discovering, mining and processing ores every day. Companies like Wood are leading the way. We specialise in utilising our strong in-house minerals processing capability to deliver engineering solutions for poly-metallic, low grade and difficult to extract ores. The challenges are greater, but so are the advances in mining and methods for processing minerals. Companies like Wood are leading the way. Our projects don’t just secure mining wealth, but rather also serve as excellent springboards for advances in exploration, analysis, mining and processing technologies.