Bulgaria’s Varba Batanci Takes Control of Gorubso-Madan Mine

Bulgaria’s Varba Batanci Takes Control of Gorubso-Madan Mine

Bulgaria's economy ministry said that local tie-in Varba Batanci has agreed to take control of lead and zinc mine Gorubso-Madan from another local company, Intertrust Holding, and to pay the miners their wage arrears totalling 1.2 million levs ($814,150/613,550 euro) straight away, putting an end to nearly a month of protests.

The agreement between Intetrust Holding and Varba Batanci allows the government to terminate the procedure for revoking Gorubso Madan's concession, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday quoting economy minister Delyan Dobrev.

Earlier this month the economy ministry said it had taken steps to terminate Gorubso Madan's mining concession after Intertrust Holding failed to keep its promise to start paying off the miners' wage arrears.

The new owner has vowed to pay the full amount of Gorubso-Madan's obligations, the statement said without quoting a figure.

Varba Batanci is controlled by businessman Nikolai Valkanov.

In October Varba Batantsi won a 30-year lead and zinc mining concession for an area close to the Gorubso-Madan mine, in the south of the country. During the concession period, the association has pledged to invest no less than 970,000 levs in environment protection, the government said back then.

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