Adriatic Metals Plc is a British-based precious and base metals explorer and developer. The company is listed on both the London and Australian stock exchanges and owns the world-class Vares Silver Project in Bosnia-Herzegovina and holds licences across the Raška District in Serbia.
All in all, 2021 will be an exciting year for Adriatic. Not only because we plan to start construction at Vares in Bosnia, but also because we are expecting a lot of exciting exploration results from Raška in Serbia – says Adriatic Metals CEO and MD Paul Cronin.
Please give us a brief overview of Adriatic Metals and explain how you arrived in the Balkans?
I first came to the region in 2016, following an invitation from a local contact. It was quite apparent to me that there has been lack of exploration across the Balkan region over the past 25 years, and that there are plenty of undeveloped opportunities to explore using modern exploration techniques.
Following extensive research of old archived Yugoslav state documents, we identified two targets in Bosnia, which we believed had not had their full potential previously realised, namely: Veovaca, a disused open-pit mine; and Rupice, a highgrade underground deposit 12km from Veovaca. These two silver-zinc deposits make up the Vares Project, which we plan to start mining within the next two years. In addition, we have also recently acquired an exciting lead-zinc project in Serbia, called the Raška project.
What was the reasoning behind acquiring the Serbian assets?
In five years’ time, I want Adriatic Metals to be a mining company with multiple world-class mining operations across the Balkan region. Realising this vision requires finding and developing mineral resources across multiple locations that have the economic potential. We identified that potential in the Raška Project, which is why we acquired Tethyan Resources in May 2020.
Along with the acquisition, we inherited a very experienced team, which complements the existing geological team in Bosnia. Since the acquisition, both teams have been working well together and sharing their knowledge about the Tethyan Metallogenic Belt, on which both the Vares and Raška projects are situated.
We would like to develop a world-class mining company with multiple assets
I believe that the Raška Project could be the second mine that Adriatic puts into production, so it is our focus right now to determine a large enough mineral resource for this to happen. This is why we shall be dedicating two-thirds of our total exploration budget to Raška this year. So that once the Vares Project is built and operating, in two years’ time, we can turn our attention to Serbia.
Tell us more about Adriatic’s exploration of the Raška Project. What sort of potential does this project offer?
The Raška project consists of two deposits, called Kizevak and Sastavci. Both deposits are former producing open-pit mines and we are confident, from the work we’ve done to date, that there are significant resources left behind that are yet to be mined.
As with all mining projects, there is significant up-front investment before you can determine whether the resources in the ground are economically viable enough to build a mine. We are currently in the middle of that investment phase. This year we shall be drilling 25,000 metres of exploration holes at Raška, as well as conducing other exploration surveys, with which we expect to identify further mineralisation and delineate a resource base large enough for a commercial mining operation.