Albania is rich in extractable mineral resources including chromium, copper, nickel, and coal. The quality and quantity of chromium are particularly high and it is worth noting that prior to 1990 Albania was the world’s third-largest producer and is today the only European country with significant reserves of this mineral. The mining industry in Albania has been undergoing privatization and the Government is also offering concessions for construction and operation in this sector. As per the National Agency of Natural Resources, at the end of 2011, there were 711 mining permits granted to local and foreign businesses out of which 622 represent exploitation permits.
At present, Albania’s coal and nickel mines are privatized, while the three largest copper mines are being operated via a 30-year concession contract. Other mines being operated under concession contracts include the chrome mines of Bulqiza, Katjel, Pojska, the copper mines of Lak Rosh and Karme and the bitumen mine of Selenica. The strategy for the development of the mining industry in Albania has prioritized the increase in production and processing of such minerals as chrome, copper, and nickel in order to raise their competitive advantage in domestic and foreign markets; the addition in production range and processing of other minerals such as bituminous sands, olivinites, basalts, decorative stones, etc.; and the introduction and further application of modernized technologies in mining and mineral processing.
Mineral exploration, exploitation, and processing constitute a key component of the Albanian economy, due to a traditional mining industry that has been a solid foundation for the country’s economic sector generating substantial revenues. The minerals mined and processed in the past still available in Albania include Chrome, Iron, Copper, Coal, etc. The mining industry in Albania is privatized and the government is promoting foreign cooperation in this sector.
Photo credits: Balcaneu