Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic (front) gives a speech at a ceremony of donation for the construction of a water supply system in the village of Metovnica, Serbia, on July 8, 2021. Chinese mining company Zijin Mining, which owns and operates a copper mining and smelting complex in the Serbian city of Bor, on Thursday donated to the local community one million euros (1.19 million U.S. dollars) for the construction of a water supply system that would serve 1,000 people in the nearby village of Metovnica. (Xinhua/Shi Zhongyu)
BOR, Serbia, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese mining company Zijin Mining, which owns and operates a copper mining and smelting complex in the Serbian city of Bor, on Thursday donated to the local community one million euros (1.19 million U.S. dollars) for the construction of a water supply system that would serve 1,000 people in the nearby village of Metovnica.
The agreement on the donation was signed in Metovnica by the Mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikic, and representatives of Zijin Mining and a local water supply company at a handover ceremony in the presence of Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic, Chinese Embassy officials and several local inhabitants.
Thanking the state authorities and the Chinese company, Milikic said that the donation will enable all households in the village located some ten kilometers south of Bor to get drinking water by the beginning of November.
he added that the presence of Zijin in Bor since 2019 has increased the city's tax income, raised its annual budget by 40 percent, and created jobs for 1,500 local young people.
Mihajlovic, who is also the country's minister of energy and mining, recalled that "mining isn't just about the ore" and that Zijin Mining's donation shows how it can improve living conditions.
"Around 300 children attending the village school will have a future, and in this future they will have water, electricity, roads, and the opportunity to get employed," she said.
Mihajlovic said that this autumn, a major mine called Cukaru Peki will be opened. It will be one of Europe's largest exploitation sites of copper and gold, and the first "green mine" in Serbia.
"It is truly going to be a green mine, and it will differ from all those we got used to seeing and working in," Mihajlovic said, adding that the mine will be the second largest copper and gold mine in Europe after Poland.
Dejan Markovic, a representative of the local community council, expressed gratitude to the Serbian state authorities and the Chinese company.
"This time they are helping us build a water supply system, which is of historical importance for us, because Metovnica has never had a water supply system, so we had major problems with obtaining water."
"In the future, we will continue to realize the vision of Zijin Mining to develop mining to the benefit of the whole society, actively engaging in social responsibility, giving back to the community, contributing to the society and undertaking all practical activities in order to promote the common development of both the company and the community," said Fu Feilong, general manager of Serbia Zijin MiningFu.
Liu Kai, economic counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Serbia, said that the joint construction of the Metovnica water supply system "once again revealed the level of social responsibility of the Chinese company.