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Asian Metallurgy 2011
Huge copper deposits in Afghanistan could drive economic growth

Minister of mines and geologists Wahidullah Shahrani Afghan said have discovered untapped mineral deposits worth an estimated USD 3 trillion which could help drive economic growth and reduce unemployment.
Speaking at recently at a joint press conference with US deputy under secretary of defense Paul Brinkley held in Kabul recently, Sharani said that “There is a massive copper deposit located in Balkhab district of Saripul province. It is valued at billions of US dollars and one of the biggest untapped copper mines in Afghanistan.”
The Afghan Geological Survey which is mapping the country mineral resources with help from the Task Force for Business and Stability Operation set up by Brinkley estimates the country's mineral wealth at US $3 trillion. The estimate is based on a survey of 30 percent of the country's land mass. Afghanistan may hold unexplored mineral deposits worth as much as US $1 trillion.
The report said “This discovery appears to be a volcano genetic massive sulfide deposit a deposit type which could supply much of the world's gold, copper, lead and zinc.”
The report added that bold and copper were also found in the Zarkashan area of Ghazni province in eastern Afghanistan with an estimated value of USD 30 billion while Lithium deposits valued at around US $60 billion were discovered in four eastern and western provinces of Afghanistan.

Codelco raises USD 1 billion for copper expansion

Codelco the world largest copper producer sold its stake in a Chilean electricity company controlled by GDF Suez SA for USD 1.04 billion as part of a plan to raise funds for expansion.Codelco wrote in a statement that Chile state owned copper company sold 424 million shares in E-CL SA or a 40 percent shareholding at 1,200 pesos apiece after a book-building process led by Larrain Vial SA.
Gerardo Jofre Chairman of Codelco said the company plans to spend USD 16.5 billion in the next five years to ramp up production from its aging mines after the metal's price jumped 30 percent last year to record levels. Chile government will allow Codelco to retain all proceeds from the sale.
Thomas Keller Codelco vice-president of finance and administration said “With this sale we've completed our financing program for this year. We could return to debt markets by the end of the year but that will obviously depend on market conditions.” E-CL supplies power to northern Chile's mining region. The stock trades at 4.69 times trailing profit making it the second-cheapest electricity company in Chile.

Sterlite may seek legal recourse on BALCO issue

Sterlite Industries which holds the majority 51 percent stake in aluminium major BALCO may seek legal recourse after a government panel turned down its call option to obtain the residual stake in the latter.
A person privy to the development said "Sterlite Industries, which is making efforts to acquire the remaining 49 percent stake in BALCO for about a decade now, may seek recourse to the High Court."
While Sterlite in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange said that it would decide its future course of strategy, the company did not elaborate on strategy or give any timeframe. When contacted, a Vedanta spokesperson refused to comment on the issue saying "We are going through the award".
With the call option Sterlite was looking at acquiring the remaining stake in BALCO. Call option is an agreement that gives the buyer a right to buy some part of an asset at a specified price and particular timeframe. A three member government panel, set up at the instance of the Delhi High Court for arbitration in the matter on January 25 had struck down the Vedanta Group firm call option terming it a violation of the rules and regulation. The government would also seek legal opinion before proceeding with the divestment of its residual stake in Bharat Aluminium to garner the maximum value. S Vijay Kumar Mines Secretary said "We are studying the award and taking legal opinion before proceeding on BALCO. The next step will be based on legal opinion as to how to get the best value for the residual stake."

Chinalco, Rio Tinto plan Chinese joint venture

Australian mining giant Rio Tinto and the Aluminum Corp. of China (Chinalco) are in the final stages of negotiations of a domestic mining joint venture in China, according to Ian Bauert, Rio Tinto's managing director in China. Caixin is a Beijing-based media group dedicated to providing high-quality and authoritative financial and business news and information through periodicals, online and TV/video programs.
Get the Caixin e-newsletter / conga / story / misc / caixin.html 61611 In December 2010, Rio Tinto and Chinalco signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing to form a venture, in which Chinalco holds 51 percent stake while Rio Tinto holds the remaining 49 percent.
Rio Tinto will have the right to name the chief executive officer for the new venture, and Chinalco will appoint the president.
According to Bauert, the two companies are currently in talks surrounding the scale of the mining plans, which are expected to include copper, coking coal and potassium. But he said the span of business operations will not include rare earths.
After earlier setbacks of the failed tie-up with Chinalco and the bribery case of Stern Hu, Rio Tinto has slowly been restoring its relationships with Chinese partners. In 2010, Rio Tinto had reached agreements with Chinalco and Sinosteel in partnerships of overseas mining projects. Rio Tinto's procurement in China reached $400 million in 2010. Bauert said the figures may see further increases in 2011.

Alcoa, China Power to develop $7.5-billion energy, smelter projects

Alcoa Inc signed an agreement with China Power Investment Corp. to work on $7.5 billion of clean-energy and smelting projects, as China seeks to cut pollution and energy costs. The companies plan to develop wind- and solar-energy projects and "state-of-the-art" aluminum-smelting plants in China in the "coming years," Alcoa said. The companies may also look at opportunities to collaborate outside China.
China, the world's largest polluter, wants non-fossil fuels to contribute 15 percent of its energy needs by 2020. The nation's incentives to encourage low-carbon generation such as solar and wind power are almost triple those in the US, according to a report by the Climate Institute.

Hindustan Tin's Canvironment Week wins Environment Initiative of the Year 2010 Award

For successfully spreading the message of global recycling movement in India, Canvironment Week by Hindustan Tin has recently been awarded the Environment Initiative of the Year Award at Ambrosia Indspirit 2010, a noted award event for the Alcobev industry (wine and spirit industry and trade).
Selected by an eminent jury and certified by Ernst & Young, the award comes as a definitive recognition to Canvironment Week, a global movement initiated by Hindustan Tin Works Limited – India's leading CAN manufacturer. The award was received by Atit Bhatia, Canviornment Week President and HTWL senior vice-president.
Canvironment Week is Hindustan Tin Work's first Global Metal Can Recycling Movement to preserve the environment through decisive proactive global initiatives. The goal is to make a significant and sustainable impact by creating an all round awareness about the exclusive benefits of usage of Cans, the vital one being its eco-friendly nature.

Bolivia takes control of Karachipampa Smelter

Bolivia's state run mining company Corporacion Minera de Bolivia, Comibol has taken control of the Karachipampa metals smelter after reaching an agreement with its Canadian joint venture partner Atlas Precious Metals Inc.
Hector Cordova vice mining minister was quoted as saying by ABI that "We have recovered Karachipampa for the state.” ABI said that Atlas handed over the keys to the smelter after reaching what the news agency described as a friendly agreement with the Canadian company.
Cordova said that Atlas' claim for US $750,000 in compensation for exiting the project is now in the hands of the government's legal arm. Under a deal signed by Atlas and Bolivia in 2005, the Canadian company agreed to put into operation the Karachipampa lead / silver smelter that had been shuttered since the late 1980s and build a new zinc smelter next door.
Atlas would have received a 65 percent stake in the joint venture and Comibol the other 35 percent. Atlas would have owned the zinc smelter with Comibol retaining ownership of the lead/silver smelter that it completed in 1988, but never fired due to a lack of lead concentrate. However, relations between Atlas and the administration of President Evo Morales deteriorated to the point where the Bolivian government last year cashed in an USD 850,000 guarantee deposited by Atlas, accusing its Canadian partner of failing to live up to its end of the deal.
Atlas names Karachipampa as its only project on its corporate website. According to Atlas, once completed, the Karachipampa smelter complex would produce 70,000 tonnes of high grade zinc slabs, 30,000 tonnes of lead ingots, and about 10 million ounces of silver a year.
The Morales administration has had a contentious relationship with foreign investors. Since taking office in 2006 as Bolivia's first indigenous head of state, Morales has nationalized oil and gas, mining, telecommunications and electricity assets that were sold to private investors during the 1990s.
A joint venture between the Bolivian government and India's Jindal Steel & Power Ltd to build a USD 2.1 billion steel works and iron ore mine appears to be moving forward despite the occasional spat between the partners.

Bauxite Resources countdown on to find alumina refinery site

Bauxite Resources said it has six months to identify a site in south west Western Australia for its proposed alumina refinery before it can make an application to the state government. The company has bauxite exploration leases from Jarrahdale to south of Manjimup. Earlier this week, the miner formed a joint venture company with its Chinese partner Yankuang Corporation, in which Yankuang would cover 90 percent of the refinery construction cost. Barry Carbon chairman of Bauxite Resources said that the next step is to settle on a location for the facility. He said that "We need bauxite, water, power, infrastructure and the willingness of that particular community and they're the characteristics. So we're looking for where the best fit is anywhere from Geraldton down to Albany.”

    GMDC filters 4 firms for alumina project in Kutch

State-run mining major Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) has short-listed four firms for executing Rs 14,000 crore alumina project in Kutch. As many as nine companies were in fray to partner with the state PSU for this project. The companies filtered out of the total nine players include Aditya Birla Group firm Hindalco, Jaiprakash Associates, JSW Aluminium and public sector company Nalco. However, GMDC will finalise only one player for the project. GMDC had received expressions of interest (EoI) from nine companies for the project, which include Hindalco Industries, Gujarat Foils, JSW Aluminium, Nalco, Aluchem (USA), Dubai Aluminium, Jaiprakash Associates, Adani Group and Jindal Steel and Power.
It had appointed two agencies to study the EoIs and carry out a technical assessment as well as financial backgrounds checks of the companies in the fray for the plant. V S Gadhvi, managing director of GMDC, had said earlier that GMDC might narrow down on three to four companies and then ask them to furnish more details which will help to select one company as a partner for the project. The total project size for setting up a million tonne alumina and a half million tonne aluminium smelter is Rs 10,000-14,000 crore. GMDC proposes to set up a one million tonne alumina refinery and 500,000-tonne aluminium smelter. It plans to supply bauxite for the alumina production from its Kutch mines. The EoI document had no mention of a power plant.

First Quantum Minerals to develop new mines in Zambia

Canadian group First Quantum Minerals will invest $1 billion in a new copper mine in Zambia. Clive Newall, its president told reporters the investment would include a copper smelter to handle concentrate from a mine expected to produce 300,000 tonnes of copper annually at peak production. The initial capital investment for the project will be approximately $600 million, rising to $1 billion with construction of a new 1.0 Mtpa copper smelter. Newall said an additional $400 million would be spent on future upgrades to Trident mine at Kalumbila in north-western Zambia. This investment is another endorsement of the Zambian government's proactive policies to create an attractive investment climate for capital investment.

    KGHM expects to see record net profit this year

Europe's No.2 copper producer KGHM expects to post a record net profit of around 8 billion zlotys ($2.8 billion) in 2011 boosted by high copper prices and telecom asset sales. The 2011 guidance for the net profit is around 8 billion zlotys, with the management including sales of its telecom assets. This would be the highest net profit in Polish corporate history. Market forecasts stand at 6.2 billion zlotys.

    Hindustan Zinc net up 12 percent

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold posted a 60 percent jump in quarterly profit but cut its sales forecast and said costs would rise, pushing its shares down as much as 5 percent in early trading. The company has seen its share price double since last June as prices for copper reached record highs earlier this month and gold reached a peak in December. But those high prices have prompted copper producers to take steps to ramp up output in the coming years.
Freeport said its copper and gold sales this year would decline from 2010. It said fourth-quarter net income rose to $1.55 billion, or $3.25 per share, from $971 million, or $2.15 per share, a year earlier. Excluding a charge to reduce debt, earnings per share were $3.26, easily beating analysts' average forecast of $3.03. Revenue rose 22 percent to $5.6 billion, said the company, which operates mines in North and South America, Africa and Indonesia.
Freeport's average price for copper climbed more than 30 percent to $4.18 per pound, although its sales slipped to 941 million pounds from 989 million pounds a year earlier. Unit net cash costs for 2011 are expected to be up from 2010, primarily because of the impact of higher costs at its Grasberg mine in Indonesia. Grasberg, the world's largest copper and gold mine, is being turned from an open pit mine to an underground mine, the company said, and current operations are likely to deplete the open pit in 2016. Freeport said copper sales are expected to drop to 3.85 billion pounds in 2011 from 3.9 billion pounds in 2010.

NSEL's e-series to see more products

National Spot Exchange (NSEL), the pan-India electronic spot market for commodities, has launched e-Zinc contracts under its e-Series products. It will include more metals and agriculture products such as castor seed, black pepper, mustard and potato in its list for the spot trading shortly. NSEL's e-Series products, which are commodity investment products in Demat form, were introduced in 2010 to meet the growing demand of retails investors to invest part of their savings in commodities.
The launch of e-Zinc will now enable retail investors to put their small savings into Zinc, even in denominations as small as 1 kg. E-Series products are offered to retail investors at the same price across the country with the option of physical delivery, which have resulted in e-Gold, e-Silver and e-Copper becoming benchmark (in pricing) for the physical commodity. At present, NSEL witnesses a turnover of around Rs 500 crore per day in its e-Series segment.
NSEL expects this turnover to double to around Rs 1000 crore per day by the end of 2011, given that all its proposed e–Series contracts would become operational by that time.
Anjani Sinha, managing director and CEO, NSEL, said, "NSEL's e-Series products are creating a niche market for investment products in the commodities sector. On account of their suitability in catering to investors' appetite, they have been extremely successful. Now with the launch of e-Zinc, retail investors and HNIs can add another base metal to their investment portfolio. Given the huge success of the existing e–Series products, we plan to continuously add more commodities under the e-Series umbrella this year."
NSEL is also in talks with regional stock exchanges like Pune, Ahmedabad and Baroda. He added, "Since its launch on NSEL in November this year, e-copper has given a return of nearly 17.5 per cent and the total turnover was Rs 1,300.24 crore and 26.55 million lots (one lot is one kg). e-gold and e-silver, the first two commodities brought into the fold, have given returns of 22 per cent and 62 per cent respectively since their launch early this year." NSEL has decided to revise its membership fee to Rs 10 lakh for TCM (trading-cum-clearing) category after the membership drive ends on January 31, 2011.

Kazakhmys' copper output achieves output target

Kazakh miner Kazakhmys said annual copper production was in line with its target and expects 2011 output to remain at similar levels amid strong demand. The FTSE-100 miner produced 303,300 tonnes of copper cathode from its own concentrate, in line with its target of at least 300,000 tonnes, although output fell from 320,400 in 2009. Kazakhmys reported better-than-expected production of by-products zinc and silver and in line gold output for the year. This was another solid year for Kazakhmys, with full- year production meeting or exceeding targets in all areas. The company anticipates maintaining copper output at a similar level in 2011 and with strong demand from customers all contracts for the current year has been agreed.

UC Rusal resumes smelting building

The world's top aluminium producer, UC Rusal, said it had resumed building Boguchany Aluminium Smelter after receiving a loan from the state-run lender VEB. In July, Rusal said VEB had approved a 50 billion rouble ($1.68 billion) loan to help it complete the construction of Boguchany, a major new Siberian smelter, and of a power plant. The assets and shares of the companies involved in the project known as Boguchany Energy and Metal Complex, or BEMO, will be pledged as loan collateral.
RUSAL started building the $1.5 billion smelter, with a design capacity of 600,000 tonnes of metal per year, in partnership with state-controlled hydroelectric company RusHydro in 2007. It postponed the smelter project when commodity prices tumbled in 2008. The first stage, which will have a capacity of 147,000 tonnes of aluminium per year, is 30 percent complete, and is expected to be completed in December 2013 with a view to start production in March of 2013.

Japan's December aluminium shipment rose 7.6 percent

Japanese shipments of aluminium products rose 7.6 percent in December from a year earlier for the 13th consecutive month of year-on-year gains on solid exports to Asia, a trend that is expected to remain at least through March. Japanese shipments of aluminium totaled 167,738 tonnes in December, the Japan Aluminium Association said. The association also said Japanese aluminium shipments for the whole of 2010 stood at about 2.06 million tonnes, up 18 percent from 1.74 million tonnes in 2009 and turning positive year-on-year for the first time in four years. Exports were solid to Southeast Asia and China, where demand for beverage cans and automobile parts remained robust, while domestic demand for use in beverage cans and new home buildings helped lift shipments from year-earlier levels. Demand was quite firm, from truck makers, household electronic appliances, IT and others, which is expected to remain through March.
The official said 60 percent of exports were for use in cans while the rest was mostly for automobile parts. China accounted for about a third of Japanese exports while Thailand accounted for about 15 percent. The economy in China and the United States appears to be firm, giving scope for Japanese exports to still grow, and pull demand for aluminium higher as well. December's shipments were still about 19 percent below the 2008 peak, before the collapse of Lehman Brothers threw global economies into a sharp downturn, and down 8.6 percent from November's 183,613 tonnes.

Base metals to rise this year

A widening market deficit could propel copper to new record highs this year while aluminium will also climb as exchange-traded products and a narrowing supply surplus buoy prices. The survey of 51 analysts was carried out over the last three weeks. Not all contributors responded to all questions. It showed average cash copper prices will rise by 28.1 percent year-on-year and aluminium by 14.3 percent. The consensus of 50 forecasts showed the cash copper price would average $9,663 a tonne this year. The price is seen easing to $9,650 a tonne in 2012, according to a consensus of 44 forecasts. Those compare with an average of $7,543 for the London Metal Exchange's (LME) cash contract in 2010.
Supply constraints at existing mines and delays to new mining projects could reach chronic levels during 2011-12, while the potential for short-term disruptions is now an endemic feature of the market. Price strength will reflect a 'scarcity premium', we believe, as physical consumers go head-to-head with financial consumers of copper. For aluminium, used extensively in transport and packaging, the cash price would average $2,484 a tonne this year. That compares with an average of $2,173 for the LME's cash contract in 2010.
Copper, used in power and construction, is widely expected to build on its nearly uninterrupted rally in the second half of 2010 as ore grades decline, new mines remain scarce and top buyer China grows. Exchange-traded products (ETPs) are the current focus for investors, with worries prevalent that they could tie up excess material, divert metal away from the normal supply chain and distort prices. Price forecasts in the poll varied from $6,614 to $11,400 a tonne for 2011. For next year, the range went from $6,063 to $12,000 a tonne.
The average of 23 forecasts showed the copper market would see a deficit of 444,000 tonnes this year compared with a deficit of 180,000 tonnes seen in the July survey. Forecasts varied from a deficit of 90,100 tonnes to one of up to 825,000 tonnes. The launch of physical backed ETFs (copper in particular) will reduce the amount of metal available for consumption, and thus is likely to lead to higher prices in 2011, said an analyst. The deficit is seen narrowing to 184,500 tonnes next year, with some analysts citing more mine supply coming through. Aluminium is seen rising further in 2012, averaging $2,550 a tonne, according to a consensus of 41 analysts. Prices will rise on tighter market conditions, falling stock levels, new inflow of investment demand through physically backed exchange traded funds (ETFs), and restocking in China after an extended destocking during H2 2010, another analyst said. The aluminium market would see a surplus of 383,000 tonnes this year compared with a surplus of 500,000 tonnes in the July survey. Forecasts were wide-ranging - from a deficit of 1.056 million tonnes this year to a surplus of 1.558 million tonnes.

Century zinc mine to exhaust in 2015

Efforts to extend the operating life of Australia's Century zinc mine, the world's second largest, have so far failed with the mine set for closure in 2015. The neighbouring Dugald River zinc project could be in production during 2014, though at a production rate of less half that of the Century mine. Minmetals' Australian unit MMG has been conducting exploration work at the Century mine for more than a year in hopes of unearthing sufficient amounts of zinc ores to maintain operations into the latter-half of the decade. The exploration that Minmetal has been doing around Century for quite a long time, has failed to produce any evidence of a major extension of the ore body.
MMG earlier said it expects to commit to development of the Dugald River project in mid-2011 and subject to certain approvals, would be in production during 2014. At its peak, Minmetals estimates Dugald River will produce concentrates containing about of 200,000 tonnes of zinc a year. Century in 2010 yielded just over 500,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate, making it the second largest zinc mine behind Teck Resources' Red Dog mine in Alaska. Under that scenario, the current worldwide glut of zinc would be entirely removed if it were to remain constant over the next four years, based on data. The global zinc market was in surplus by 223,000 tonnes in the first 11 months of 2010, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG).
Teck Resources last year announced it will proceed with an expansion of the Red Dog zinc mine, avoiding a potential closure that would have stripped out more than 5 percent of global zinc production. Zinc futures are little changed from a year ago but up 15 percent since early December to $2,358 a tonne ($1.07 a pound). ANZ Bank senior commodities analyst Mark Pervan expects zinc to average between $1.10 and $1.12 a pound ($2,425-$2,470 a tonne) this year. MMG said it had released an environmental impact statement on the Dugald River project, with the document open for public comment until March 7, 2011. The release of the document is the next important step for the project before it can be developed. A 2008 economic feasibility study was updated in 2010.

Nalco plans to produce titanium

National Aluminium Co Ltd (Nalco), one of India's largest producers and exporters of aluminium has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IREL), a PSU under Department of Atomic Energy, for making value-added products from beach sand minerals, which would subsequently be used for making titanium and allied products.
The MoU was signed by CMDs of Nalco and IREL, in the presence of directors and senior officers of both the companies, at Nalco corporate office in Bhubaneswar. The project is estimated to cost '400 crore and is planned to be set up at Chhatrapur in Ganjam district of Orissa. Meanwhile, the company is expecting a 25 per cent growth in its net profit for 2010-11. Nalco had recorded a 36 per cent decline in its net profit at Rs 814.22 crore for 2009-10 as against Rs 1272.27 crore in 2008-09.
The company's shrink in net profit was attributed to decrease in sales realization owing to lower aluminium prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) and higher fuel costs despite increase in production volume. Similarly, the Navratna company's turnover saw a marginal drop from Rs 5531.06 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 5310.47 crore in 2009-10. Nalco had lined up an investment of Rs 40,000 crore in various brownfield and Greenfield projects both within the country and abroad and had set a turnover target of Rs 25000 crore by 2020. Its aluminium production has reached 0.46 million tonnes per annum while its CPP (Captive Power Plant) generation stood at 1200 MW.
The aluminum major, which is in a diversification mode, had identified Jharsuguda and Kamakhyanagar as the possible locations for setting up of independent power plants (IPPs). The company aims to set up IPPs through joint ventures with PSUs of the Orissa government like Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) and Orissa Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) which have been allocated coal blocks. The company has targeted at least one IPP with a generation capacity of 1000 MW by 2016.
Meanwhile, Nalco has successfully completed two major brownfield expansion plans at an investment of Rs 7800 crore. This has raised the company's bauxite mine capacity to 6.3 million tonnes, alumina capacity to 2.1 million tonnes, aluminium capacity to 0.46 million tonnes and power generation capacity from its Captive Power Plant (CPP) at Angul to 1200 MW. The company is now ready with its Phase-III expansion plan entailing an investment of Rs 6000 crore. This will further expand Nalco's alumina capacity to 2.9 million tonnes, aluminium capacity to 0.57 million tonnes and power generation from CPP to 1700 MW.
In parallel, Nalco which had lined up an investment of Rs 16000 crore for setting up a 0.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) smelter plant and a 1260 MW CPP at Brajrajnagar near Jharsuguda is now scouting for alternative locations in Sundergarh and Bolangir districts. The location will be finalized depending on the availability of land and water.

Outotec Oyj wins $81.34 mn contract

Finnish mining technology firm Outotec Oyj has won a contract worth around 60 million euros ($81.34 million) to deliver new copper smelting technology to Serbia's state-run RTB Bor copper mine. The deal was awarded by the Canadian SNC Lavalin Group, which is set to modernise the Serbian mine by end-2013 under a 175 million euro agreement with the European Union applicant country's government. Outotec will deliver a new copper flash smelting furnace and related services to RTB Bor that will help it produce 80,000 tonnes of copper anode and cut liquid and gaseous emission levels to European standards. RTB Bor operates an old reverb type copper smelter.
Lavalin will also build a new a sulphuric acid factory. RTB Bor had said it broken even in 2010 after more than two decades of losses on the back of higher productivity, output and rising metal prices. It said that copper output increased by 15 percent to 21,300 tonnes, gold output rose 60 percent to 722 kg and silver production doubled to 4.82 tonnes last year. In the 1980s, RTB Bor had an annual output of about 180,000 tonnes and disposal of about 5,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid, 350 tonnes of arsenic and 35 tonnes of zinc in vast dumps of processed ore. Serbia's efforts to sell the company failed in 2007 and 2008 after two potential buyers, Romania's Cuprom and Austria's A-Tec, failed to meet the terms of a tender.

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