AmCham Macedonia Summer 2016 (issue 50) - Page 21

INTERVIEW Summer 2016 / Issue 50 are primarily to sustain the asset via replacing plant and equipment in accordance with best available technologies, continuing to explore and develop the resource base, and to continue to improve our operating performance, safety, environmental performance and sustainability. ACM: What factors are driving the commodities market at the moment? James: Zinc and lead prices have been among the first commodities to start to recover despite the recent global slowdown in demand, which has been largely driven by a weaker Chinese economy and slower growth in Europe and the United States. Like all commodities, price is driven by supply and demand, and the fundamentals for zinc and lead are particularly attractive, with increasing demand driven by an impending tightness of concentrates due to a large number of mines closing globally in the last couple of years (e.g., Century mine in Australia, the world’s 3rd largest zinc mine, and Lisheen, another large zinc/ lead mine in Ireland). The supply forecast is also positive as demand for zinc continues to grow as standards improve in China and other developing countries to galvanize and protect steel, and demand for lead remains strong for its use in automotive and industrial batteries. 50th anniversary since the original opening, so there has been a long history of the company and community working together for a positive future. The revenues from the SASA concession have enabled the construction of local roads, playgrounds, new town square, new fire department, local water supply, energy supply lines, a modern market, sport center, and a center for special needs. In independent initiatives, SASA has also reconstructed local school buildings, provided support for local kindergartens and sporting clubs, built the Miners’ Park in the city and 2 playgrounds for children, and frequently contributes to social, educational and charitable programs in the city of Makedonska Kamenica and surrounding regions. ACM: As a major employer in the area, how would you describe operating in Makedonska Kamenica? What are some examples of how your organization engages with the local community? James: The SASA mine is the largest employer in the town of Makedonska Kamenica, directly employing approximately 700 people from the region (approximately 90% from the local municipality), and more indirectly in the provision of goods and services to the mine. The mine has a long operating history, as marked by its recent celebrations on June 10, 2016, SASA mine’s 10th anniversary since the restart of operations in 2006, and ACM: Please tell us something about your personal career and background. James: Before establishing Lynx Resources to acquire SASA, myself and the CFO and COO from the Lynx Resources management team worked at Nyrstar AG in Switzerland, one of the world’s largest zinc and lead mining and smelting companies. Prior to Nyrstar roles in Zurich and London, I worked at Zinifex and Pasminco, both large global zinc/lead mining and smelting companies with headquarters in my home town, Melbourne, Australia. I have been working in the zinc and lead industry for approximately 15 years, with roles spanning operations, business improvement, strategy, investor relations, commercial, and most recently corporate development and acquisitions, which provides a unique insight into the industry. When my partners and I first investigated the SASA mine as an acquisition it was evident that this was going to be a very interesting opportunity due to the attractive scale of the operations, location, cost competitiveness, and quality of SASA’s concentrates in the global market. ACM: You’ve been present in Macedonia for over a year. How would you rate the Macedonian business climate? James: We have been very pleased with the strong support we have received from all areas of the business community since completing our acquisition: including government, institution \\[Y\[ܙ[^][ۜœX\H[Y\X[[X\ق[Y\KH]H[XXYۚXHH[^[[XH܂\[\]H[ YYX]YܚٛܘK\]]]Hؘ[KH۝[Y[][ۈ܈\X\[[\[]\H[ٙܙK[H\H[[[Z[]]YH]Y\˂[\]YH܈[\\\\۝[YHܛH\[HYX]Z\][ۜ^ܘ][ۈ[][Y[[Z[[[Y][ؘ[KBH]HHۙ[Z][]\H[XXYۚXK[۝X]H]]\Hܛ[\]KSPSHPQVSBB