Bucim DOO Radovish
In 2020, the Bucim mine processed 4.17 million tonnes of ore (98% of 2019 volume), with copper content of 0.172% (93% compared to quality of ore processed in 2019) and gold content of 0.197 g/t (80% compared to quality of ore processed in 2019).
The Bucim mine produces copper concentrate containing gold, silver, and pure cathode copper.
Total production of dry copper concentrate in 2020 was 28,484 tonnes (91% of 2019 volume), which contained 5,903 tonnes of copper (91% of 2019 volume), 448 kg of gold (76% of 2019 volume), and 862 kg of silver (92% of 2019 volume). Bucim’s SX/EW plant operated efficiently during 2020 to produce 722 tonnes of cathode copper of 99.99% quality (equal to 2019 volume).
The costs for overhaul activities, maintenance of production plants, and technological equipment during 2020 reached €3.8 million (97% of 2019 amount).
In 2020, the mine began modernizing its production process in order to achieve higher standards in production. It invested €550,000 in the purchase of a new NP crusher that will enable increased production capacity, automated and better process control, and reduced electricity consumption.
The total value of Bucim’s investment program in 2020, including environmental protection costs was €1.24 million (113% of 2019 amount).
During 2020, Bucim strove to achieve its goals and objectives and a positive financial result. The mine had a pre-tax profit of €15 million (92% of the result achieved in 2019).
The mine paid a profit tax to the budget of North Macedonia in the amount of €1.5 million (92% of 2019 amount).
For the use of mineral resources in 2020, the company paid concession fees of €1 million, 78% of which was paid into the budget of the municipality of Radovish, while 22% was paid into the federal government budget.
The average monthly net salary paid per employee in 2020 was €564 (106% of 2019 average net salary). Social contributions from salaries paid were equal to €2.12 million (128% compared to 2019). Annual leave allowances, one-time compensation in the form of severance pay to workers who acquired the right to a pension and employee rewards for 15 years of continuous service totalled €220,500.
Total ESG investments in 2020 reached €472,000.
In the total costs for environmental protection, the largest share were the costs for TSF surveillance (39%), followed by re-cultivation of the downstream slope of the dam of the tailing dump (32%), regular environmental monitoring according to IPPC (23%), waste management services (4%), and environmental third-party audits and assessments (2%).
In 2020, projects aimed increasing environmental safety included completion of the reconstruction of the system for the return and recycling of technological water and construction of an overflow channel. Implementation of an overflow system will continue during 2021.
The air quality at Bucim is monitored with three measuring devices for 24-hour monitoring of particulate matter (‘PM10‘). During 2020, there were no exceedances of air quality standards recorded.
In 2020, after realization and fulfilment of its operational plan obligations, the Bucim mine received an IPPC – integrated pollution prevention and control permit.
Socially responsible practices, as one of the main features of the company and a top priority amongst its operational agenda, continued with strong intensity throughout 2020. Bucim provided support for the development of cultural and sports associations, preschools, schools, cultural, public, and health institutions in the municipality of Radovish.
In 2020, the mine continued to provide technical water to the surrounding villages of Topolnica and Bucim. In total, during the reporting period, approximately 50,000 m3 of water were delivered for this purpose.
The mine was actively involved in the North Macedonia’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition to donating protective equipment, the mine made financial donations to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of North Macedonia, local health centers in the municipalities of Radovish, Shtip, and Strumica, and the Municipal Red Cross in Radovish.
Health and safety
In 2020, Bucim continued working on modernization and development of the OSH system. The funds were allocated for procurement of personal and collective protective equipment, personal hygiene equipment, technical inspections of equipment, procurement, and servicing. Several trainings for 111 employees were also successfully completed in order to improve their OSH knowledge and awareness. These led to concrete results: zero deaths and serious injuries during the reporting period.
In 2020, Bucim was recertified according to ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 14001: 2015. These confirmed operation of the company in accordance with international standards and that the mine operates according to the guiding principles for conscientious, responsible, and sustainable management of natural resources.
Borov Dol’s development
During 2020, the company was fully committed to performing all tasks and successfully implemented its plans for the upcoming start of operations at the Borov Dol mine.
In 2020, construction of the main technological facilities was completed in full (conveyor line, primary crushing facility, and a closed ore warehouse) and infrastructure and auxiliary buildings were realized in the volume of 95%.
Total investments in the Borov Dol project reached €69.5 million.
Borov Dol invested €29.9 million in purchasing new equipment and spent €19.5 million on excavation works. In 2020,Borov Dol finished construction works on site worth €17.1 million.
2020 investment highlights
€10.7 million for construction work (168% of 2019 investment).
€14.6 million in purchases of necessary equipment (103% of 2019 investment).
€7.9 million for excavation of material (67% of 2019 investment).
2020 production highlights
In 2020, Borov Dol continued with earth excavation work, during which 10 million tonnes of rock material were excavated (compared to 12.7 million tonnes in 2019).
2020 environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) performance
Total ESG investments in 2020 were equal to €75,400. The funds were allocated for performance of key activities as follows:
The company continuously monitored the quality of the environment and biodiversity in the concession area. In addition, as part of its overall compliance program, it incorporated third party environmental audits and assessments, in order to track potential effects and to make more ecologically sound, on-site managerial decisions. During 2020, in order to preserve the biodiversity in the surrounding area, the company installed special birdhouses (artificial nests) at more locations around the Borov Dol concession area.
There were no environmental incidents reported at Borov Dol in 2020.
During 1Q 2021, Borov Dol obtained an IPPC – integrated pollution prevention and control permit. By the end of 2021, the company plans to certify its quality and environmental management systems according to ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 14001: 2015 standards.
During 2020, Borov Dol installed a new heating system in the local kindergarten in Konce, ensuring that all necessary conditions for a modern and safe stay in the kindergarten for the youngest residents are provided. In order to help students and families move towards online learning, and ensure equal learning opportunities for all children, the company helped procure tablets and an annual internet connections for students from socially disadvantaged families in Konce. The company supported restoration of a 200 year-old church in Radovish in order to preserve the cultural heritage for the future generations and reconstruction of some existing local roads in Konce, enabling easier and safer travel for the local population. To protect and prevent the spread of Covid-19, ensured protective masks and antiseptics were distributed to local residents.
Health and safety
No LTIs nor fatalities were reported at Borov Dol during 2020.
During the reporting period, 60 of 101 total employees took part in OSH training sessions. Topics covered included a review of operational procedures as well as secure operations with new equipment installed on site. The company also performed all required testing of its machinery, electrical equipment, and buildings.