Serbia is located in the southeastern Balkan region of Europe.
Serbia formed part of the six member communist Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which as a consequence of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, began to disintegrate in 1991 and ultimately culminated in the creation of a new constitution for the Republic of Serbia in 2006 when Montenegro seceded from what remained of the then loose federation of the two republics known as the Federal Republic of Serbia and Montenegro. In February 2008, the autonomous province of Kosovo declared itself independent of Serbia. In October 2008, the majority of UN states backed Serbia in its judicial action again Kosovo, with the aim of determining whether the secession was legal.
Serbia is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Council of Europe, which it presided over in 2007. It is also a potential candidate for membership in the European Union.
Although hampered by war, and, UN sanctions in 1992-95, Serbia's economy has been slowly recovering since the breakup of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Since 2000, Serbia's democratic government has implemented stabilization measures and embarked on a more aggressive market reform program. A major policy objective in Serbia is to provide a legal framework to attract investment to exploration and mining. Ambitious laws on privatization, foreign investment and concession rights have been implemented or are awaiting final approval. Important amendments to the Mining Law of 1984 were adopted in 2006, however, a comprehensive new Mining Law was drafted with the assistance of the World Bank and is expected to be enacted by parliament in late 2011.
Mining in Serbia dates back to the Middle Ages when silver, gold and lead were extracted. There are many mineral deposits and major occurrences distributed throughout the country and today copper along with lead, zinc and bauxite are the main metallic ores mined in Serbia with the majority of the copper production coming from deposits in the Timoc (Bor) District in northeastern Serbia and lead and zinc production coming from the Kopaonik District in south-central Serbia.
The recent increase in commodity prices, the recovering Serbian economy and political stability have led to an increase in mining and in mineral exploration, particularly gold and copper exploration.