Bucim DOО Radovish is the only operating cooper mine in North Macedonia. It is located in Radovish in southeastern North Macedonia. Bucim is an open pit mine which produces a concentrate containing copper and gold. It processes over 4.5 million tonnes of ore annually. Bucim’s ore contains 0.2–0.3% copper and 0.2–0.3 gram per tonne (g/t) of gold. Over 40,000 tonnes of copper concentrate containing gold and silver are produced each year. The copper concentrate does not contain any significant impurities, and it is in high demand from European smelters due to its quality.
With 650 employees, the mine is the largest local employer in the region and is fully committed to its social and environmental responsibilities.
Since 2005, the Bucim mine has been a part of Solway Investment Group, which has enabled Bucim to pursue a new path and secured the mine’s long-term prospects.
Solway Investment Group has invested over €78 million in the Bucim mine. These investments have supported the modernization and development of the mine. Improvements include the introduction of automated processing operations, upgrades to the flotation circle, diversion of drainage water, a collection system around the Bucim mine (UNDP project), a warehouse for mining reagents, renovation of an old tailings dump, and implementation of a closed water consumption cycle.
Significant resources have been invested in the development of civil infrastructure and environmental protection in Radovish and the surrounding towns. Local athletic, cultural, and educational facilities have been upgraded, medical equipment was purchased for local hospitals, municipal roads were built and other local infrastructure was improved. Solway also introduced a closed loop and environmental management control systems.
Solway Investment Group invested €12 million in a solvent extraction and electrowinning (SX/EW) plant to process the oxidized part of the deposit and to extract residual copper from waste stockpiles which remained from the previous decades of Bucim’s operations. The SX/EW plant also reduces the mine’s environmental impact.
Within the Bucim project, Solway is developing the Borov Dol mine, which will extend the life of Bucim’s operations to at least 2030. The proposed mining area contains proven and prospective reserves approximately 40 million tonnes of ore containing 0,26% copper and 0.20 g/t of gold. The life of the mine may be substantially extended further when new reserves to the north of the ore body are delineated.
Bucim’s operations have been granted complex, integrated environmental permits, as well as international certificates of quality management (ISO 9001), environmental management (ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety systems (ISO 45001).
The history of the discovery of ore deposits in North Macedonia dates back to the pre-war period. More detailed research was carried out in the region after World War II. The idea for the Bucim mine began back in 1972 with the decision to build the mine. Active exploitation began in 1979 as a conventional open pit copper and gold mine and a flotation mill. The mine was continuously operated until 2000 as a state-owned enterprise. The mine has been operating as a private company since early 2003, but that company filed for bankruptcy and production was temporarily halted. A new era for Bucim began in early 2005 when Solway Investment Group acquired the mine, having won the government’s international tender. Within a short period of time, Solway Investment Group repaired or replaced the mining equipment, and implemented upgrades to the flotation circuit.
Over the past four decades, Bucim has undergone a number of transitions to become the company that is today.
Vision Mission Values
Sustainability and CSR
Bucim acts responsibly and strives to make a positive contribution to the environment and local communities through our activities. It is critical to maintain stable and sustainable development, while growing and creating shareholder value. Being welcomed in a community where we operate demands responsible social, economic and environmental performance across everything we do.
Bucim’s passionate, professional team remains true to the company’s philosophy: by pursuing excellence and working together, we can create value and opportunities which allow us and the local communities in which we operate to grow and flourish. We’re committed in heart and mind.
We are consistently honest, ethical, and fair in our words and actions. We honor our commitments and work to maintain our reputation in the mining field. What we do, we must do well. Bucim’s reliability, successful track record, and global scale of operations inspire confidence in our ongoing performance and prospects for the future.
Our comprehensive process of operation and action is based on full transparency, accountability and integrity.
Investment always involves a degree of risk and a range of challenges. Our culture of constant innovation and our passion for professionalism have led to new ways of working, both in the development of processes and product.
We achieve excellent performance through teamwork, diligence, and innovation. We are persistent in our pursuit of doing better and focus our resources, time and effort to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity. Professionalism and passion drive our company, and we strive to promote a culture which embraces challenging situations requiring strong management skills and technological expertise.
Bucim DOO Radovish management system has been certified to meet established international standards for quality, environmental and health and safety management. The company maintains the following certificates:
Alexander Rakov is a highly accomplished mining engineer renowned for his expertise in the technology and complex mechanization of surface mineral resource exploitation. With over 45 years of expirience in the mining industry, he has consistently led mines to achieve exceptional results. Alexander Rakov’s journey in the mining sector began in 1978, marking the genesis of a remarkable career characterized by dedication and innovation. Over the decades, Rakov has amassed a wealth of experience that spans the globe. His leadership and insights have been instrumental in optimizing mining operations worldwide. Under his guidance, mines have consistently attained peak performance, setting industry standards and garnering recognition for their outstanding achievements.
As of May 22, 2023, Alexander Rakov stands at the helm of two mining enterprises, Bucim and Borov Dol.
Solway Investment Group
Solway Investment Group is a private mining and metals group headquartered in Switzerland with global operations. Solway invests in industrial assets, relaunches producing assets and develops greenfield projects. The Group identifies unique investment opportunities with the potential to have a significant positive impact on both the production facility and the region.
Solway operates mines and smelting plants in Guatemala, Ukraine, Russia, North Macedonia, Indonesia and Argentina, with a focus on nickel production. Solway has a strong portfolio of mining and metals projects at various stages of development, and the group is working to increase both its mineral reserves and production capacity. Solway strives to bring not just projects, but also local communities, back to life.
Despite having owned the Bucim mine in North Macedonia for only a short period of time, Solway has repaired or replaced the mining equipment and implemented upgrades to the flotation circuit.
Solway embraces challenges and continuously manages ambitious projects successfully. Successes in North Macedonia demonstrated that although on-site management could be technically, socially, and economically challenging, reviving this project was not impossible.
Solway Investment Group views the positive changes that have occurred in the regions of the group’s operations as a great source of positive motivation. Solway seeks to identify opportunities where the group can make a substantial and positive impact on a project and its associated local community. It is hugely rewarding for all involved when these changes occur. Not just for our shareholders, but also for all of our stakeholders, we take responsibility for the social and economic well-being and sustainability of our employees and of the communities in which Solway operates. We are dedicated to employing best practices and ensuring total accountability.