British MINECO Group opened a lead ore mine at the town of Olovo, some 53 kilometers from Sarajevo, claiming it is currently the only underground exploitation ore mine in the country.
MINECO Operations Director Dominic Roberts addressed the mine opening ceremony on Thursday, thanking the government for “close cooperation” and “shared will to make the investment possible”.
“This is the safest mine in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where we set standards for further development of mining in the country,” said Roberts.
Olovo (Bosnian for lead) is known for its lead ore deposits.
British ambassador to Bosnia Edward Ferguson attended the mine opening and said: “MINECO has an outstanding reputation in terms of safety standards for work and environmental protection, and we expect full support from competent institutions for remaining administrative procedures, so that the mine is operational in full capacity, providing long-term, sustainable employment for hundreds of people in Olovo and neighboring municipalities.”
The Federation entity minister of energy and mining, Nermin Džindić, said: “This is the only underground ore mine in the Federation and the first one that started from the scratch in 30 years. The investors willing to continue investing in (mines) are important (…) for job creation and for development of the sector.”
Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia, Lars-Gunnar Wigermark, said the EU supported the investment with its Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
“We hope that the mine production will soon be in full swing and that it will support economic development, job creation and growth in general, in Olovo and in the rest of the country,” Wigemark said.