Currently Tethyan Resources is developing a regional deposit targeting framework to focus exploration on highly prospective and under explored areas of the Balkans region of Eastern Europe.
The Balkans region is under explored as it has seen relatively little serious exploration since the 1980s when the former Soviet Union ceased geological exploration. Since this time technology has improved in both exploration and mining techniques which allows for exploration under cover and development of lower grade deposits previously considered uneconomic and of little interest.
The region is highly mineralised and proven to host world class deposits, importantly opportunity still exists to acquire exploration tenements over and around known mineralisation, a setting proven to be favourable for new discoveries year on year. Currently Tethyan Resources is developing a regional
deposit targeting framework to focus exploration on the most prospective and under explored areas of the Balkans and is actively reviewing project opportunities in Serbia and Macedonia.
Conducting exploration in the Balkans where there is such a rich history of mining is an exciting task.
Southern and Central Europe has one of the oldest mining industry in the world. There is evidence of copper mining by the Cretians since the 5th millennium BC in Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria. From the 2d century AD, the Romans obtained gold from the Balkans, in particular in the Carpathian. Two of the oldest copper mines in Europe come from the Balkans. The main one in Serbia is the Rudna Glava belonging to the Vinča culture. The discovery of these mines have changed the thinking of the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic periods of European history by pushing back European usage of copper by a thousand years or more.
Modern, industrialised mining was started by the Austrians and by the 20th Century the copper mines of Bor in Serbia and the Trepca lead complex in what is now Kosovo were among the largest operations of their kind in Europe. However this proud tradition of mining was dramatically interrupted by the breakup of Yugoslavia, the ensuing civil war and international economic sanctions. Today there is a momentum to carry exploration in this promising region.
Aurasian and its controlled affiliates promote sustainable development outcomes and are committed to operating to the highest international standards of environmental practice and engaging with local communities to ensure that there is mutual benefit for exploration and future mining activities. We seek to achieve full integration of environmental, social, health and safety considerations into management systems at all stages of Project exploration and development.
Aurasian’s work programmes includes a requirement to undertake a substantive process of assessment and engagement with local communities and Government agencies to seek to deliver maximum benefits to all stakeholders with minimum disruption to the environment and lives of the local communities.
Leading sustainability best practice for international projects in emerging markets is generally driven by the international financial institutions. Aurasian is basing the assessment of its environmental, health, safety and social risks on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Sustainability Framework including the IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability (PS). Comprehensive Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (ESIA) fully compliant with IFC PS will be conducted by Aurasian as well as applying to the required mining, environmental and industrial safety permits in the country where we operate.
When needed, Aurasian’s Projects that require significant investment from capital markets will be designed to comply with the Equator Principles (EP), which is a risk based framework for assessing potential environmental and social impacts and is based on IFC PS. Many of the IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles requirements work on the premise that projects seeking funding will employ good international industry practice (GIIP) and Best Available Technology (BAT).
Aurasian is committed to continuously improving the operational performance of the Project, to achieve zero lost time injuries (LTI’s), to establish a culture for safety, productivity, efficiency and flexibility to enhance the Project’s social and environmental benefits in Serbia and Macedonia, and to limit adverse impacts while maintaining a high level of environmental, social, and health and safety performance.
Aurasian is in the process of establishing a Health, Safety Environmental and Communities (HSEC) Committee is responsible for assisting the Board its oversight responsibilities relating to Health, Safety, Environmental and Communities and associated risk management for the Company.