Bucim and Borov Dol announce 1H 2020 operational results

During 1H 2020, Bucim processed 2.2 million tonnes of ore (106% of 1H 2019), with copper content of 0.166 % (85% vs. quality of ore processed in 1H 2019), gold content of 0.151 g/t (52% vs. quality of ore processed in 1H of 2019). This corresponded to 14,603 tonnes of dry copper concentrate from ore raw materials (90% of 1H 2019 volume), containing 3,066 tonnes of copper (90% of 1H 2019 volume), 170 kg of gold (48 % of 1H 2019 volume), and 442 kg of silver (95% of 1H 2019 volume). During 1H 2020, Bucim’s SX/EW plant produced 335 tonnes of cathode copper of 99.99% quality (95 % of 1H 2019 volume).

The company achieved a positive financial result for 1H of 2020: a pre-tax profit of €4.7 million (47% vs. comparable figure for 1H of 2019). Bucim paid an advance taxes to the budget of North Macedonia in the amount of €858,000.  The company paid concession fees of €447,000 for the use of mineral resources in 1H of 2020, 78% of which was paid into the budget of the municipality of Radovish and 22% into the federal government budget.

The average monthly wage during 1H 2020 was €547 (102% compared to 1H of 2019).

Expenditures on socially responsible programs reached €30,000 during 1H of 2020 (the same amount as in 1H 2019). The Bucim mine provided financial support for the development of young musical talents and athletes, cultural programs, schools, kindergartens, sports clubs and healthcare institutions.

In addition, in order to support North Macedonia’s fight against Covid-19, Bucim donated €40,000 to the special donor account the Ministry of Health, €10,000 to the local health centers in the municipalities of Radovish, Shtip and Strumica, and €5,000 to the Red Cross of Radovish to support socially disadvantaged families from the municipalities of Radovish and Konce in order to help them better cope with the new reality caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. In addition to the financial assistance, the mine donated 650 medical protective masks for the needs of the local institutions in the municipality of Radovish and 150 protective suits to the Clinical Hospital in Stip.

During 1H 2020, €66,000 were invested in occupational safety and health (87% vs. 1H 2019) including the cost of employee PPE, hygiene products, certification of technical equipment, technical inspections of equipment, fire prevention measures, employee medical examinations, purchases of safety materials, staff training, and measurement of microclimate conditions in the workplace.

During the first half of 2020, in order to manage the threat of coronavirus, the mine took a series of increased measures to protect the health and safety of its employees. The precautions are fully observed, and personal hygiene and protective products are regularly procured. €7,271 were spent for the purchase of hygiene items, protective masks and gloves during the first half of 2020.

The costs for repairs and maintenance of technological equipment in the first half of 2020 amounted to €1.6 million (94% vs. 1H of 2019). This includes overhauls of the flotation plant and ongoing maintenance performed on the leaching plant and surface pit.

During 1H 2020, investments to support production capacity (procurement of equipment, machinery, construction, etc.) reached €502,000 (134% vs. 1H 2019).

A total of €52,400 were invested (175% vs. 1H 2019) in environmental protection programs, such as re-cultivation of the dam of the tailing dump in the required area, environmental monitoring services – including both surface and groundwater, atmospheric air, environmental noise, industrial emissions and discharges, and waste management services, as well as environmental third party audits and assessments. During 1H 2020, Bucim successfully passed all of its inspections by the state environmental authorities. 

During the first half of this year, Bucim confirmed its compliance with international ISO standards by successfully passing an internal annual audit to confirm the company’s compliance with the international ISO standards 9001, 14001, and 45001. The auditors confirmed that there was no disagreement nor any non-compliance with the requirements of these standards, and that the mine operates consciously and responsibly in accordance with international best practices.

The copper mine Bucim DOO Radovish marked 1H 2020 with the completion of exploitation of the mineral resources from the Chukar 2 ore body, in accordance with Bucim’s annual production plan. During 2H 2020, in order to ensure continuity in the production process and optimal utilization of the copper ore in Bucim, mineral raw materials will be exploited from the North-East 2 ore body which contains proven other quantities of mineral reserves. The ore reserves from the North-East 2 ore body will ensure the exploitation and processing of mineral resources and the smooth operation of the Bucim mine until the start of production at the Borov Dol mine.

Borov Dol’s development

During 1H 2020, the company focused entirely on meeting its targets for launching production at Borov Dol, which will extend the life of the existing Bucim project.

The situation arising from Covid-19 resulted in a change to the construction schedule for the facilities, and a delay to the planned start of the production at Borov Dol. In the schedule for the construction of the main technological facilities, there has been a delay of three months. This is due to the restrictions imposed during 1H 2020 (introduction of a curfew, restrictions on movement, self-isolation of workers and closed borders for foreign equipment suppliers). Given the current state and dynamics of construction, the Borov Dol mine plans to start production in December 2020.

During the reporting period, the Borov Dol mine continued with construction of the main technological facilities and started with construction of the infrastructure facilities. These were realized in the following volumes: conveyor line – 70%; power lines of 20 kV – 95%; primary crushing facility and a closed ore warehouse – 90%; infrastructure facilities – 35% .

Total investments in the Borov Dol project during 1H of 2020 reached €15.3 million (compared to €8.1 million during 1H 2019).

During 1H 2020, Borov Dol invested a total of €7.2 million in purchases of necessary equipment (compared to €2.5 million during 1H 2019), €2.1 million for construction work, and €4.9 million for excavation of the ore body (compared to €5.2 million during 1H 2019).

During the first half of 2020, Borov Dol continued with earth excavation work, during which 4.6 million tons of rock material were excavated (compared to 6.6 million tons in 1H 2019).

During 1H 2020, Borov Dol invested €119,200 in the areas of occupational safety and health, environmental protection initiatives, and socially responsible practices. Borov Dol provided financial support for cultural and historical initiatives and development of infrastructure projects in the local municipalities of Radovish and Konce.  In addition to regular environmental monitoring and biodiversity monitoring, Borov Dol placed bird nests around the concession area to preserve biodiversity in the local area. Preparation of documentation for submitting an application for obtaining an A-integrated environmental permit has begun.

During 1H 2020, Borov Dol paid an average monthly gross salary paid per employee of €1,069 (an increase of 5.8% vs. 1H 2019).

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