Precious and base metals developer and explorer Adriatic Metals has announced the official opening of its Vares Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This comes after the production of first concentrate at the Vares Project on 27 February 2024.

Following an investment of $250m, Adriatic Metals produced the first silver/lead concentrate and zinc concentrate from the Vares Processing Plant.

Adriatic Metals CEO Paul Cronin said: “I am delighted to celebrate this momentous occasion with the team who helped deliver this project.

“This wonderful event represents not only a significant milestone in Adriatic’s journey to becoming a mid-tier, European-focused mining company but also a turning point for the local community as well.

“We have always embraced the ‘Adriatic Way’, which aims to set a new standard for responsible mining operations. Our focus is sustainable resource extraction alongside innovation, community engagement and economic development.”

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Adriatic Metals noted that its Vares Project is equipped with modern technologies and adheres to environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

The company added that its investment in the Vares Project has had a substantial economic impact, contributing 25% to Bosnia’s foreign direct investment in 2022.

Over the duration of the mining operations, the project is projected to generate approximately $177m in corporate tax and social contributions.

Sourcing ore from the Rupice Mine, Adriatic Metals is now shifting its focus towards optimising the plant’s performance.

It aims to enhance production and is on track to achieve a nameplate capacity of 800,000 tonnes per annum by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Prime Minister Nermin Nikšić said: “I am happy that we have all come together today to recognise the importance of the Vares Project.

“Regardless of the fact that the project is constructed in Vares and the Zenica-Doboj Canton, within the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina the significance is immeasurable.

“This project has invested $250m and employs directly or indirectly over 500 people. This is something that all authorities must fully support.”