The Bigar deposits of gold on Mt. Crni Vrh, near Bor, host 48 tons of this precious metal. Over the next three years, Canadian company Avala Resources will invest more than half a billion dollars in two open pits on the mountain. Its experts believe that Mt. Crni Vrh is one of the richest gold deposits in Europe. Serbia has the potential to become a leading mining center in this part of the "old continent". Ranka Pavlovic has more.
The Avala Resources company completed the exploration drilling in search of gold deposits in the locality Bigar near Zagubica, where a reserve of 38 million tons of gold ore has been determined. Also, exploration activities have been completed at the second Crni Vrh site Korkan, where preliminary results were even better than at Bigar, and soon to be known are the results of geological studies at the third site called Kraku Pestar. According to the estimates of geologists, these three sites contain reserves of at least 4 million ounces of gold, or about 130 tons of the precious metal. If studies prove the economic feasibility of exploitation, Avala Resources plans to invest at least 500 million dollars in two open pits on Mt. Crni Vrh and the purchase of the mining equipment. This means jobs for hundreds of workers, and the investment is expected to by fully paid within three years once the mines start operating. The opening of gold mines will benefit the state, as it will have 5% of the total production in compensation for the use of mineral resources, and an additional 10% of the profit covering various taxes. The gold mine opening also entails development of other industries.
The Avala Resources company, previously known as "Dundee", has been looking for gold in Serbia for seven years. Since 2010, has invested more than 45 million dollars in geological survey. The preliminary results show that the 20-km long and 5-km wide gold belt stretching in the vicinity of Zagubica. The Timok magmatic complex, which is being explored by other major global mining corporations, such as the American "Freeport" and the multinational "Rio Tinto", contain reserves of several hundreds of tons of this precious metal. Resources with 2 grams of gold per ton are considered to be extremely rich. The richest site that belong to the Mining and Smelting Basin Bor is Coka Marin with some 240,000 tons of ore containing about 4.4% of copper, 14 grams of gold per ton, and nearly 100 grams of silver per ton. The Bor Basin is now considering whether to re-activate the gold mine "Blagoje’s Stone" between Majdanpek and Kucevo, where, according to previous studies, there is about 35 tons of gold.
The Timok region is believed to host gold reserves of nearly 1,000 tons. More than 160 tons of the precious metal has been mined in Bor, the town of copper, so far, which is enough to encircle the globe several times at the equator.
As for the price of gold, it is growing on a daily basis and currently stands at around 1,600 dollars for a fine ounce. Investors forecast that due to the global economic crisis, the short term price will reach $ 2,000, and the longer term price will be up to 2,300 dollars per ounce.