Zijin Bor Copper

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Serbia Zijin Bor Copper
IndustryCopper mining and smelting
Founded18 December 2018; 13 months ago (2018-12-18) (Current form)
1904; 116 years ago (1904) (Founded)
Area served
Key people
Long Yi (General director)
ProductsCopper wires, Copper bars
Production output
  • 43,000 tonnes of copper
  • 5 tonnes of silver
  • 700 kilograms of gold
RevenueIncrease 307.52 million (2018)[2]
Increase €761.90 million (2018)[2]
Total assetsDecrease €637.94 million (2018)[3]
Total equityIncrease €430.59 million (2018)[3]
OwnerZijin Mining (63%)
Government of Serbia (37%)
Number of employees
4,951 (2018)
SubsidiariesCopper Mine Bor
Copper Mine Majdanpek
Smelter and Refinery
Footnotes / references
Business ID: 07130562
Tax ID: 100570195

Serbia Zijin Bor Copper is a copper mining and smelting complex located in Bor, Serbia.


Lectra Haul dump truck in Bor.
Panoramic view on RTB Bor.
Old logo / RTB Bor

Formation and expansion[edit]

The first geological explorations of copper ore in Bor area were conducted in 1897 and covered the area at the time called "Tilva Roš".[5] The explorations were performed by the Serbian industrialist Đorđe Vajfert, who later provided investments of the French capital and set up a company called the "French Society of the Bor Mines, the Concession St. George". The company, with its headquarters in Paris, started operations on 1 June 1904.[5] The French capital remained in Bor until the end of the World War II.

1951–1988: SFR Yugoslavia[edit]

In 1951, the company's assets were nationalized by the Government of SFR Yugoslavia. Since then, the company Bor was in the state ownership.[5]

From 1951 until 1988, the company has changed its organizational structure, from the "organization of associated labor" to current form of the state-owned enterprise "RTB Bor".[5]


During 1993, following the breakup of SFR Yugoslavia and the outbreak of the Yugoslav Wars, RTB Bor made various investments which further initiated opening of the new mining operations such as new pit mine called "Cerovo".[5]

Since the mid-1990s and during the time of sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, production in the RTB Bor dropped significantly from the very prosperous 1970s and 1980s. This has been due to both diminishing reserves and the inability to obtain new equipment that would most efficiently gather the remaining ore no longer of high grade. Copper mining as the key basis of Bor's economy had significant effects on Bor's inhabitants due to decreased production during the 1990s and 2000s.

2007–2008 failed purchases[edit]

In March 2007, the Government of Serbia sold RTB Bor to the Romanian Cuprom for a sum of US$400 million.[6] Cuprom has pledged to modernize the production facilities in RTB Bor and Majdanpek mine, in order to improve the productivity levels. However, due to Cuprom's failure to meet a deadline regarding the financing, the Government of Serbia had cut the deal and the complex was put up for privatization once again.

In February 2008, following the second tender, RTB Bor was sold to the Austrian A-TEC for a sum of $466 million plus obligation to invest $180.4 million in facilities.[7]

After the signing of the contract was made, the first $150 million was delivered by A-TEC.[8] However, the problems arose after A-TEC missed its deadline for the second payment at $230 million, due to A-TEC's trouble to secure bank guarantees due to the global recession caused by the financial crisis of 2007–2008.[9] A-TEC was not permitted to see the $150 million it had already paid fore returned. The Government of Serbia later voted to scrap the contract and offer Russian SMR as the second ranked bidder a chance to purchase RTB Bor.[10] However, after set of negotiations SMR decided not to increase their first offer and the second tender had officially failed.[11]


For more than two decades, RTB Bor has been among the most unprofitable Serbian companies, with the accumulated debt of more than 1 billion euros.[12] However, the Government of Serbia kept investing hundreds of millions euros in new production facilities, and even wrote off company's debts worth 1 billion euros to the government-owned companies such as Elektroprivreda Srbije.[12]

Even with high copper prices on global markets, RTB Bor continued with financial losses.[13] For calendar year 2015 net loss was around 110 million euros and for 2016 it amounted to 42 million euros.[13]

In 2017, Greek Mytilineos Holdings won a multi-year trial against RTB Bor before the Geneva Arbitration Tribunal, seeking $40 million for failure to fulfill the contract and subsequent financial losses.[14] During the 1990s, RTB Bor imported the copper concentrate from Mytilineos, processed it, but never sent back 4,000 tonnes of processed copper to the Greek company.[14] Mytilineos has also launched several other lawsuits against RTB Bor over the non-fulfilled contracts signed during the 1990s.[14]

In 2017, according to the general director Spaskovski, RTB Bor had a positive net result after years of net losses, with $306 million (€255 million) of revenues and $73 million (€61 million) of EBITDA.[1] For 2017, around 18 million tonnes of ore was mined, of which 235,000 tonnes of concentrate was processed and finally, 43,000 tonnes of copper, 5 tonnes of silver and 700 kilograms of gold was obtained.[1] Around 75% of the processed copper is exported, while the rest is being further processed by domestic copper companies "Valjaonica bakra Sevojno" and "Pometon".[15]


In 2017, the Government of Serbia obliged to find a strategic partner or buyer until March 2018, in a memorandum with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[12] The sale was later postponed until June 2018.[16] Three companies - Zijin Mining from China, "Diamond Fields International" from Canada and "U Gold" from Russia - have placed bids in a tender for a strategic partner.[17] The Serbian government has chosen the Chinese Zijin Mining Group as its strategic partner for the copper mining and smelting complex, RTB Bor.

On 31 August 2018, Chinese mining company Zijin Mining took over 63% of shares of the company, in a $1.26 billion deal with the Government of Serbia.[18] On 18 December 2018, Zijin Mining formally took over the company under new name "Zijin Bor Copper". Later, it was announced that suffix "Serbia" will be added.[19] For 2018 calendar year, Zijin Bor Copper had net income of around 760 million euros, with most of it coming from debts conversion into shares.[20]


RTB Bor Group is composed of the following subsidies:

  • RBB – Copper Mine Bor
  • RBM – Copper Mine Majdanpek
  • TIR – Smelter and Refinery

The ledges of the Zijin Bor Copper are located in the southwestern part of the Carpathian Mountains and are mostly of porphyry type within the Upper Bor District eruptive area. The currently undeveloped underground site "Borska Reka", located within the Jama mine, represents a very significant potential mineral resource.[citation needed]

The overview of total resources:

Name Category Amount [t] Cu(%) Au(%) Ag(%)
Veliki Krivelj A 91,713,587 0.33 0.7 0.39
Veliki Krivelj B 333,306,825 0.35 0.7 0.39
Veliki Krivelj C1 135,439,825 0.29 0.7 0.39
Tilva Ros B 3,889,738 0.76 0.33 1.06
Brezanic A 1,972,350 1.28 0.27 1.93
Borska reka A+B+C1+C2 1,007,832,732 0.53 0.16 1.69
Cerovo complex – Cementacija 2 26,580,420 0.31 0.07 1.08
Cerovo complex – Cementacija 4 4,027,930 0.28 0.07 1.06
Cerovo complex – Cerovo 238,358,600 0.31 0.108 0.77
Main Cerovo complex – Drenovo 45,777,880 0.38 0.062 1.38
Cerovo complex – Kraku Bukaresku 1,600,000 0.62 0.62 2.21


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "RTB Bor beleži 7 puta veću zaradu". b92.net (in Serbian). 31 December 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b БИЛАНС УСПЕХА (2018) - РТБ Бор. apr.gov.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b "БИЛАНС СТАЊА (2018) - РТБ Бор". apr.gov.rs. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  4. ^ Основни подаци о привредном друштву. apr.gov.rs (in Serbian). Serbian Business Registers Agency. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Istorijat". rtb.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  6. ^ Cuprom Romania wins US$400-million (€303-million) bid for Serbian copper complex – International Herald Tribune
  7. ^ "News - Business & Economy - Austrian A-TEC buys RTB Bor". B92. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  8. ^ "UPLAĆENO 150 MILIONA DOLARA ZA RTB BOR". balkanmagazin.net. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  9. ^ "A-TEC Industries announces breakdown of talks on RTB Bor acquisition" (PDF). a-tecindustries.com. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Govt. votes unanimously to scrap A-TEC contract". b92.net. Fonet, Beta. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  11. ^ Bazel has refused to purchase copper combine in Serbia | Forex & Finance Archived 2 November 2009 at Archive.today
  12. ^ a b c Telesković, Anica (26 December 2017). "Tender za RTB Bor do kraja marta 2018. godine". politika.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  13. ^ a b Rabrenović, Jovana (13 November 2017). Цена бакра расла у 2016., РТБ Бор репризирао губитке. politika.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Srbija dug RTB Bor plaća grčkoj firmi na četiri rate". insajder.net (in Serbian). 26 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Bakar iz Bora na ceni, za njega plaćaju premiju". b92.net (in Serbian). Tanjug. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Odlaže se prodaja RTB Bor". blic.rs (in Serbian). Tanjug. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Serbia receives three bids in tender for RTB Bor strategic partner". SeeNews. 21 August 2018. Retrieved 21 August 2018.
  18. ^ Jamasmie, Cecilia (31 August 2018). "China's Zijin wins race for Serbia's largest copper mine". mining.com. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  19. ^ Кинески „Зиђин”преузео РТБ „Бор”. kolektiv.co.rs (in Serbian). 18 December 2018. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  20. ^ Obradović, M. (16 July 2019). "Otpisi dugova i isplata koncesije napumpali profit". danas.rs (in Serbian). Retrieved 10 August 2019.

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