The first proven use of copper tubes (manufactured of copper sheets at that time) dated far back in 2750 B.C. (Abu Sir, the Nile River delta). In numerous researches in Europe and the Near East various copper pipelines were discovered that (regarding their good quality) may be used even today. This only confirms extraordinary stability of copper.
Rudna Glava, an early Aeneolithic mine near Majdanpek (5000 B.C.) is the example of the oldest known copper mining technology. As one of the most eminent ethnologists of Serbia, Mr. Paun Durlic, asserts, in that place the civilization stepped out of the Stone Age and into the Metal Age. High skillfulness of old miners in Rudna Glava is confirmed by exhausted shafts to the depth of 20 m. A big series of stone mallets and big pebbles originating from volcanic rocks testify to specialization of primary stone tools for various production activities.
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A small town of Majdanpek, with the population of about 8000, is located to the very east of Serbia in the crater of a long-extinct volcano. It is known for its rich deposits of copper and gold, and its mining tradition dated much before the Romans forced their way to this region (the 1 st century A.C.). Copper was obtained by settling method, while gold was obtained by washing sand from the River Pek or by mining veins of native gold . Throughout the Middle Ages the mining in the region continued... In the first half of the 19 th century copper started being mined in an organized manner, based on newly developed technologies. Copper mining and processing industry fully developed in the second half of the 20 th century. Today the town is known by production of highest quality/most durable utility and industrial copper tubes.
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Interesting facts from the region
- The oldest cast copper object (pickaxe shape) was discovered in the immediate surroundings of the present-day Copper Tube Plant Majdanpek. The given object (copper content 98.50%) is kept in the Museum of Mining and Metallurgy of Majdanpek.
- In 1882 the first locomotive in the Balkans was constructed in Majdanpek.
- Open copper mine at the very entrance to Majdanpek, from the direction of Belgrade, is a vast land surface developed by human hand (surrounding hills and a portion of Mt. Starica). It is an incredible and very rare sight of wide terraces / roads that spread making a huge funnel with a pond at the bottom.
- 2.5 km from the center of Majdanpek there is Rajkova Pecina (Rajko’s Cave) (just one of 110 caves and drifts recorded by speleologists in the immediate vicinity of Majdanpek). Overall length of the cave is 2304 meters. It is very rich in cave jewelry: stalactites and stalagmites of most varying and fascinating shapes, halls and galleries, cave columns, draperies, drapes... The cave was first explored by the greatest Serbian geographer Jovan Cvijic (in 1894).
- At 15 km from Majdanpek toward Donji Milanovac there is a stone arch - overpass, carved by nature (about 20 m high).
- Some 30 km to the east of Majdanpek there is Lepenski vir, the archeological site of one of the most miraculous and fabulous prehistorical cultures (this site is rightfully called the cradle of European civilization by archeologists). A great number of monumental stone sculptures (the oldest sculptures made in stone in the entire world) of fish-like beings, made in about 6000 B.C. are kept in this place in the roofed form of original material preserved in the Mesolithic settlement of Lepenci. A part of the rich collection of the ancient sculptors is in the National Museum in Belgrade.
- In the vicinity of Lepenski vir (three kilometers downstream) there is yet another archeological site from the Mesolithic Era - Vlasac. The given site is still unexplored completely, but the first findings (signs/letters carved in stone) suggest that further explorations will reveal many ancient secrets and cast new light on the age when human literacy began.
- One of the greatest European rivers, the Danube, is the deepest at 40 km point to the southeast of Majdanpek, in the place named Kazan (84 meters). This is also the greatest river depth in the world.
- A major part of the National park “Djerdap” occupies the territory of Majdanpek Municipality. Diverse flora, centennial trees and abundance of game (deer, wild boar, wild cat) attract numerous fans of untouched nature. Moreover, the most fish-abundant part of the Danube (catfish, perch, carp) is just the one around Donji Milanovac (25 km from Majdanpek).
Photograph of the oldest object cast of copper
Information on Lepenski vir
Information on National Park "Djerdap"
Interesting facts from around the world
- Water supply systems of the Great Pyramid (Cheops’ Pyramid) is constructed partly of copper tubes (over 4500 years ago). FBC Majdanpek now sells copper tubes to its customers in Egypt.
- Copper tubes were used in the time of the Roman Empire. Even nowadays it is possible to see the remnants of copper water supply systems in the archeological site in Herculaneum (that was destroyed after eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.C.).
- Copper tubes were used in the Mid 19 th century in English breweries. Since then they are more and more used for water supply installations all over Western Europe instead of lead ones.
- Of all materials used by the man, copper is given a special priority since it influenced the development of civilization to the utmost. It is used for conveyance of water and gas, conduction of heat and electricity, and in various telecommunication systems...Even one age of human civilization - the Copper Age - was named after it.
- The Statue of Liberty in the United States is coated with 80 tons of copper.
- The largest manufacturer and exporter of copper ore and concentrate is Chile. The largest importer of copper ore and concentrate is Japan (the latest available data).
- The greatest exporters of refined copper are Chile and Russia. The greatest importers of refined copper are the United States and China (the latest available data).
- Global copper resources are estimated at 2.3 billion tons (2004 data).