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Bosnia’s Gold Rush: Vareš Mine to Boost Economy with €5 Billion Exports

In a groundbreaking development, Bosnia and Herzegovina is set to open a massive gold mine, with expectations of exporting gold worth an estimated five billion euros. 

This ambitious project will initially create 300 jobs at the mine itself, with projections indicating that it could eventually lead to the creation of an additional 2,500 jobs in related industries.

Come late January, mining will commence in Vareš, located in central Bosnia. This area, which has seen significant neglect and depopulation post-war, is poised for a revival thanks to this venture. Over 200 million euros have been invested in the project, which is expected to gradually transform the region.

Paul Cronin, the director of Adriatic Metals BH, expressed excitement about the venture. “What we’re building here is state-of-the-art. Starting January 24, we’ll begin extracting ore, increasing the quantity daily until we reach our target of 65 tons per month by July,” Cronin told Sarajevo’s ‘Oslobođenje’.

The company, Adriatic Metals BH, was previously granted a concession for exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in the Vareš area. This region was historically known for having the largest iron ore mine in the Balkans, with records indicating exploitation dating back to ancient times.

Vareš, under the Austro-Hungarian rule, developed into a significant industrial center. This prominence continued through the two Yugoslav eras. During the time of the SFRY (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), up to three million tons of ore were mined annually from the Vareš vicinity, supplying raw materials to local industries and the Zenica steelworks.

Adriatic Metals BH has invested over 450 million convertible marks, equivalent to more than 230 million euros, in this “revival” project of Vareš. The company anticipates that by 2050, it will have produced and sold zinc and lead worth over five billion euros.

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