admin1 – March 13, 2006 – 10:06am

The Ministry of Economy is going to search for a new owner of the lead and zinc mines Zletovo and Toranica although it has not yet decided how to get out of the sales agreement with the US company Xeminex, which failed to invest anything since taking over the mines two years ago. It is also unknown if Xeminex will be asked to pay damages and when the new tender will be announced.

"Regretfully I have to say that the attempt to sell these two mines failed. We plan to find as soon as possible a new serious investor that will restart the mines fast," Minister Besimi said.

He explains that all the deadlines for restarting the mines have been broken through a few times by the US investors.

"We have to seek out a legal form to get out of the deal with Xeminex so that the mines can be restored to life as soon as possible. All serious investors are welcome to Macedonia," Minister Besimi said pointing to the Russian investor Romtrade, which invested 10 million euros to restart the mine Sasa.

The representatives of Romtrade say they have not yet been offered to buy Zletovo and Toranica, but they would think about it if being offered.

"It's a commercial issue and we'll certainly discuss it if the Government puts it forth," said Pavel Malinovski, owner of Romtrade.