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Antimony in Serbia

1. About antimony
Antimony is a chemical element with symbol Sb (from Latin: stibium) and atomic number 51. A
lustrous gray metalloid, it is found in nature mainly as the sulfide mineral stibnite (Sb2S3). Antimony
compounds have been known since ancient times and were used for cosmetics; metallic antimony
was also known, but it was erroneously identified as lead upon its discovery. It was first isolated by
Vannoccio Biringuccio and described in 1540.

For some time, China has been the largest producer of antimony and its compounds, with most
production coming from the Xikuangshan Mine in Hunan. The industrial methods to produce antimony
are roasting and subsequent carbothermal reduction or direct reduction of stibnite with iron.

The largest applications for metallic antimony are as alloying material for lead and tin and for lead
antimony plates in leadacid batteries. Alloying lead and tin with antimony improves the properties of
the alloys which are used in solders, bullets and plain bearings. Antimony compounds are prominent
additives for chlorine and bromine-containing fire retardants found in many commercial and domestic
products. An emerging application is the use of antimony in microelectronics.

1.1.

Applications

Antimony is mainly used as its trioxide in making flame-proofing compounds. It is nearly always
used in combination with halogenated flame retardants, with the only exception being in halogencontaining polymers. Markets for these flame-retardant applications include children's clothing, toys,
aircraft and automobile seat covers

Antimony forms a highly useful alloy with lead, increasing its hardness and mechanical strength.
For most applications involving lead, varying amounts of antimony are used as alloying metal. In
leadacid batteries, this addition improves the charging characteristics and reduces generation of
unwanted hydrogen during charging.

Used in semiconductor technology for making infrared detectors, diodes, and Hall-effect devices

OTHERS: batteries, antifriction alloys, type metal, small arms and tracer bullets, cable
sheathing, and minor products use about half the metal produced
oxides, sulphides, sodium antimonate, and antimony trichloride are used in manufacturing flameproofing compounds, paints, ceramic enamels, glass, and pottery.
tartar emetic (hydrated potassium antimonyltartate) is used in medicine

sl.1. Antimony

sl.2. Antimony in Serbia

2. Curent antimony reserves in Serbia


The western part of Serbia, despite the prevailing exhaustion of known ore bodies, is still the most
interesting area in terms of antimony mineralisation. Mineral resources in a number of deposits are
significant but marginal or sub-economic.
Special interest has been paid to the complex Sb-Pb-Zn-As Rujevac deposits. Its resources may
be treated only as conditionally economic until technological issues are resolved obtaining
commercial antimonite concentrate. Potential yet un-identified mineral resources of jasperoide
antimony ore-type, especially in western Serbia, are considered significant but an underresearched
and under-explored target.

Discoveries of antimony mineralization were reported near the Serbian antimony center at Zajaca
in west Serbia. Reserves of the new deposits were not disclosed.
Curent active mines :
o The mines of Zajaa
are located in western Serbia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and have been an
essential source of Serbian Antimony production ever since 1890. The factory is situated in Zajaa
village (700 inhabitants) just 100-700m away from houses and the village primary school. Most
citizens of Zajaa are employed at the mine. In 2006 the mines and a smelting factory were privatized
by the Serbian company Farmakom mb that focused its work on recycling and refining old lead. The
mine has reserves amounting to 3.6 million tonnes of ore grading 2.5% antimony.
o Rajiceva Gora
The Rajiceva Gora mine is one of the largest antimony mines in Serbia. The mine is located in
Rajiceva Gora in Rasina District. The mine has reserves amounting to 3 million tonnes of ore grading
1.12% antimony.

3. History of Antimony exploatation in Serbia


Until 1990s Serbia was one of the greatest producers of antimony in Europe. Right now, there are
13 mines in West Serbia which have been closed in last 30 years (Lisa, Glijeca,etc.), and more than
20 closed during or right after World War II.

4. The Health Dangers of Antimony


How Are We Exposed to Antimony?
Exposure to antimony compounds generally happens one of two ways: occupational and
therapeutic. Exposure symptoms and the problems that people may experience can differ greatly
between the two. Additionally, although its not often cited as a prime source, it is worth mentioning
that the EPA has warned that drinking water with high antimony levels, over a period of years, could
cause health problems.
In general, how your body reacts to a toxic level of antimony will depend on how you were
exposed. Those who breathed in the compound, like the port workers mentioned above, may suffer

from symptoms like pneumoconiosis, gastrointestinal problems, antimony spots appearing on their
skin, and
respiratory irritation. However, if you come into contact with actual antimony dust, you can
experience symptoms like depression, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, kidney damage, or liver
damage. One compoundantimony trioxideis even believed to be carcinogenic, and antimony
poisoning has also been known to lead to Adams-Stokes syndrome.

5. Summary
The reason why I decided to write about one of many minerals situated in in our country is that I
concluded that this mineral can be used as a metaphor for something much bigger. Situation of
antimony production in our country can apply to whole economical system in our country. Once
upon a time we had something that was significant for whole world. It was a reason for wars, and
now all we have is a bunch of managers trying to sell one of the rear things that actualy have
some walue in this world.
We need to2 transform. We need to understand that there wont be any progress until we find
some black material under our nails when we come home from work.

Contents
1.

About antimony........................................................................................................................ 1
1.1.

Applications........................................................................................................................ 1

2.

Curent antimony reserves in Serbia......................................................................................... 3

3.

History of Antimony exploatation in Serbia............................................................................... 4

4.

The Health Dangers of Antimony.............................................................................................. 4