China-based Zijin Mining Group subsidiary Serbia Zijin Mining has initiated the trial production phase at the Čukaru Peki mine in Serbia.

The move follows the issuance of a trial production permit by the Serbian Ministry of Mining and Energy for the process facilities at the super large-scale copper and gold mine.

The Čukaru Peki mine is divided into the upper zone and the lower zone. The mining and processing project of the upper zone is capable of processing 3.3Mtpa of ore.

In a press statement, Zijin Mining said: “At present, the construction of the processing facilities of the project has been completed, trial production and operation, construction conclusion and greening, etc. are being conducted at full speed.”

According to estimates, the Čukaru Peki mine will produce 91,000tpa of copper and 2.5tpa of gold.

By September 2021, Zijin plans to complete all work pertaining to the project’s trial production stage for submission and subsequent acceptance check by the Serbian Ministry of Mining and Energy.

Zijin added: “This will achieve a smooth transition from mine infrastructure construction to production and operation.”

According to estimates, the reserve volumes of resources in place at the upper zone are 1.28Mt of copper metal grading 3% on average, along with 81t of gold, grading 1.91g/t on average.

The project’s lower zone resource volume is estimated at 14.30Mt copper metal grading 0.86% on average, along with 299t of gold metal grading 0.18g/t on average.