’’Engineer Šistek“ Award and Charters of Honour

The “Engineer Šistek” award for contribution to the development of Serbia Zijin Copper in 2023 was awarded to Ivan Vladić, Nenad Savić, Ivan Bibanović (RBB), Dragiša Anđelković, Željko Mihajlović (RBM), Goran Golubović (TIR) and Ivan Pernat (EMO). – Due to the miners’ fierce struggle with water during the June floods, the extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice in the action of directing the Krivelj River to the bottom of the open-pit mine and the defence of the village of Krivelj, the employees of the “Veliki Krivelj” Open-Pit Mine earned the Charter of Honour, and the same recognition for extraordinary courage, self-sacrifice and mining solidarity in emergency situations and actions to save people and property from fire and floods was also awarded to the emergency rescue team of the “Jama” Mine.

BOR LAKE. – In the presence of numerous business partners and friends, as well as dignitaries from the state and socio-political milieu, another Sixth of August was celebrated in the “Jezero” Hotel on the Bor Lake, the holiday celebrated by all of those who bravely and selflessly earn the “bread with seven crusts” in Serbia. This year, the ceremony was also dedicated to the memory of the first director of the Bor mine, engineer Franja Šistek, whose name bears the most prestigious recognition for his contribution to the development of the former RTB Bor, i.e. contemporary Serbia Zijin Copper, and was held in the light of the recognition of the best workers of Zijin.

Deep respect for an occupation with a centuries-old tradition

The Minister of Mining and Energy, Dubravka Đedović, congratulated both companies operating in the east of Serbia on the Serbian Miners’ Day.
“I send sincere congratulations to all miners, employees in the mining industry and their associates on the occasion of the Serbian Miners’ Day. I express my deep respect and gratitude that by working responsibly in one of the most dangerous workplaces in the world, you contribute to the energy stability of our country and its accelerated economic progress every day. The Government will work even harder to improve working conditions and safety so that we can continue to achieve good results and preserve the profession that has a centuries-old tradition in Serbia. Your endurance and the effort you put in allow us to secure resources that are crucial for our society and economic development. I wish you safe work, lots of health and success, along with the traditional miners’ greeting – Good luck!

In addition to the Šistek Award, which was presented to Ivan Vladić, Nenad Savić, Ivan Bibanović (RBB), Dragiša Anđelković, Željko Mihajlović (RBM), Goran Golubović (TIR) and Ivan Pernat (EMO), Serbia Zijin Copper, on this occasion, for the first time presented special recognition – a Charter of Honour to the employees of the “Veliki Krivelj” Open-Pit Mine due to the miners’ fierce struggle with water during the June floods, extraordinary courage and sacrifice in the action of directing the Krivelj River to the bottom of the open-pit mine and defending the village of Krivelj. The emergency rescue team of the “Jama” Mine received the same award for exceptional courage, sacrifice and mining solidarity in emergency situations and actions to save people and property from fire and floods.

It’s only been five years and we have already made three billion US dollars of investment

Guests from the Ministry of Mining and Energy, the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, EMS, EPS, representatives of public authorities and enterprises in Bor, trade unions, rural and urban local communities, the media, as well as employees of Serbia Zijin Copper and Serbia Zijin Mining were greeted by the Vice President, Mr Wang Chun, on behalf of Zijin Mining Group.

A beacon of inspiration for us all

The leaders of the City of Bor congratulated the Miners’ Day to all the miners, their families, citizens of mining city of Bor and employees of Zijin companies.
“It is with pride and respect that we celebrate the courage, dedication and tireless work that shapes our industry and contributes to our community. The tenacity and perseverance of the miners are a beacon of inspiration for all of us.
We express our deep gratitude for your hard work, commitment to safety and your role in creating a better future for us all. Your common solidarity and unwavering determination are a guiding light in all the challenges ahead. May this day bring you the joy, respect and recognition you deserve,” states the congratulations message signed by the Mayor of Bor, Aleksandar Milikić, his deputy, Milivoje Janošević, and the President of the Municipal Assembly, Dragan Žikić.

– During five years of operations in Serbia, the Zijin’s investments have reached 2.95 billion US dollars, which is far more than the contracted amount of investment that Zijin Mining Group committed to in the Strategic Cooperation Agreement with the Government of Serbia. In the name of taxes and fees, a total of 586 million dollars was paid to the Government, while the corporation allocated 930 million dollars for social contributions. We proved our social responsibility through investments and donations worth 7.88 million dollars. Through investments in infrastructure, health care, education, culture and sports, we contributed to the reduction of poverty in the local community. Since arriving in Serbia, the Zijin Mining Group has invested 288 million US dollars in improving the environment alone. An area of about 3.93 million square meters was rehabilitated and planted with greenery, while half a million seedlings were planted – said Wang Chun, the Vice President of Zijin Mining Group, as the host of the event. Dragana Jelisavac Erdeljan, the Head of the Department for Mining in the Ministry of Mining and Energy, said that this year Serbia expects a 20% increase in mining production, primarily thanks to Zijin’s two companies.

– We are carrying out intensive activities in terms of increasing this year’s metal ore production, primarily copper and gold. We expect an increase of over 20%, where the greatest credit will go to Serbia Zijin Copper and Serbia Zijin Mining, so the Republic of Serbia is very grateful to them. Also, we owe gratitude to the Chinese corporation for the billions of dollars invested in the development of production capacities, mining and metallurgy plants, and especially for the application of modern techniques and technologies in exploitation and metallurgical processing – Jelisavac Erdeljan pointed out.

Awards for the best

In the continuation of the ceremony, she herself, together with the executive deputy general manager of Serbia Zijin Koper, Mr Tang Kuangren, and the adviser to the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Miroslav Lutovac, presented the winners of the Šistek Award with these prestigious awards. Aleksandar Đorđević from Serbia Zijin Mining and Ivan Pernat from Serbia Zijin Copper expressed their thanks on behalf of the awardees.

In the past 55 years, 401 Šistek awards have been awarded

The “Engineer Šistek” award, as the highest award given by the Bor copper industry to the most deserving individuals and institutions for distinguished services and contribution to the development of the Company, was established way back in 1968. Serbia Zijin Copper was pleased to continue the beautiful tradition of 55 years, so in 2023, twelve more of them joined the constellation of 389 “Šistek” winners. The “magnificent seven” from Serbia Zijin Copper were joined this year by the guys from Zijin Mining, so the Šistek Award was also given to: Dejan Volojanović, Miloš Jocić, Dalibor Stojadinović, Aleksandar Đorđević and Igor Zlatković.

– I am proud to be standing here, shoulder to shoulder with the colleagues who contribute to the successful business results of Zijin and the economic development of Bor, Majdanpek, and the whole country with their efforts and commitment. The 120-year history of mining obliges us to nurture tradition and remember great people, such as engineer Šistek. The award that bears his name obliges each of us to continue with the modernisation of the mining industry and the implementation of the latest technological achievements. This recognition is a reward for the entire EMO Branch, the youngest in Serbia Zijn Copper. We have exactly 100 employees, so jobs often exceed our technical capabilities, but not our desire for success. We participated in the construction of the new “Veliki Krivelj” Flotation Plant, the reconstruction of metallurgical facilities in TIR, as well as in the installation and overhaul of equipment in all mines and plants of Serbia Zijin Copper. Remediation of the consequences of the June floods at the Krivelj open-pit mine was another test of maturity for EMO. I perceive this award as a “wind at the back” of my team for future victories. We will try to keep the title of innovator, to meet all deadlines and create a safe working environment – said Ivan Pernat, manager of the plant for mechanical repair, assembly production and equipment servicing at EMO.

Vladan Nestorović and Aleksandar Spasić, representatives of the emergency rescue team of the “Jama” Mine, as well as two employees of the “Veliki Krivelj” Open-Pit Mine, Dalibor Jovanović and Marina Marković, received the Charter of Honour from Serbia Zijin Copper.

– The Charter of Honour sounds powerful, just as the Krivelj River was powerful on June 16. Combating nature is always uncertain and I’d be lying if I said we weren’t all scared that day. As a foreman, I was in charge of the evacuation of people and machines that day. We succeeded because we all worked as a team. We succeeded, because no one died, no one was injured, no machine was lost in that flood. We managed to beat the river, to save the people who were trapped near the ore transport system, to direct the water to the bottom of the open-pit mine and thus save the village of Krivelj. Because of that, I am proud of all my colleagues, proud of this recognition and proud of the fact that the Company recognised our efforts and publicly praised us – said Dalibor Jovanović, foreman at the Krivelj Open-Pit Mine.

The second part of the Miners’ Day ceremony at Bor Lake was reserved for the awarding of valuable vouchers to the participants of the “Zijin Art 2023” competition. One prize for the winner, two second-place and three third-place prizes were awarded, and Aleksandra Kovačević from Čačak, whose work was declared the best according to the decision of the expert jury, thanked the organiser on behalf of all 40 painters and painting enthusiasts.

– On behalf of the entire art colony, I would like to thank the Company for the impeccable organisation. The conditions and the whole atmosphere were wonderful and very stimulating for work. We had the opportunity to create in the beautiful surroundings of the Bor Lake, but also to have an insight into the work of the mine and the local community of Bor. It was an invaluable experience for all of us, so I will be happy to recommend “Zijin Art” to my colleagues and I will be happy to return again myself. I’d like to thank everyone for the wonderful time together and the prizes with which you supported the entire artistic work – said the MA in Fine Arts from Čačak.

Music, football and fireworks

The evening part of the Miners’ Day programme was intended for citizens of Bor and neighbouring towns. The City of Bor and two Chinese companies gave them a football spectacle and a music concert. At the city stadium, the Serbian Superleague competitor – “Partizan FC” and “Bor 1919 FC” met in a friendly match, in which the youth team of the “Black and Whites” from Humska Str. beat the hosts with a score of 1:0.

Under a rainy sky, at the stadium of the “Jezero” Hotel, two music concerts by Milica Pavlović and Isak Šabanović were held, and the music programme was complemented by a performance by DJ Shone and fireworks.

On the same day, Majdanpek residents also had a rich all-day programme on the occasion of the Serbian Miners’ Day. The youngest could enjoy the children’s show titled “Aska and the Wolf”, and their parents could enjoy the performance of the “Majdanpek” folk ensemble and soloists on the ancient Chinese instrument called “the pipa”. The Majdanpek Cultural Institution, in cooperation with the Majdanpek Copper Mine, organised an exhibition of photos by Milan Klčeski entitled “In the Dragon’s Nest”. The city’s central street was the “Open Heart Street” that day, as the citizens of Majdanpek received free t-shirts, drinks and local domestic food, while costumed animators distributed sweets and balloons to the children. DJ Miloš, Rada Manojlović and Mahir Mulalić provided good entertainment in Majdanpek in the afternoon and evening.