A General Overview of Mining Industry in Albania
Albania is a country relatively rich in mineral resources. Mineral exploration, exploitation and processing constitute an important component of the Albanian economy, due to a traditional mining industry, that has been a solid foundation to the country economic sector, generating substantial revenues. Chrome, copper, iron-nickel and coal, are some of the minerals mined and treated in Albania for a long period.
Mining industry development in Albania has passed through three main stages:
The first stage includes the period up to the end of World War II, marked by two important events. In 1922, has been compiled the first Geological Map of Albania, which was even the first of its kind in the Balkans. In 1929 has been approved the first Mining Law of the Albanian Kingdom, which paved the way to the exploration and/ or exploitation of mineral resources in Albania;
The second stage (1944-1994), marks the period when the mining activity has been organized in state-owned enterprises and the concept of mining privatization did not exist.
The third stage includes the period 1994 up to date. It began the mining’s privatization, after the approval of Albanian Mining Law.
Through many studies and exploration – prospecting geological works carried out, from 1945 to -1995, are concretized a lot of useful metallic and non-metallic mining deposits, industrial and for construction use and as a decorative stone.
While Albania’s energy mix already features one of the highest shares of renewables in the region owing to its extensive installed hydropower capacity, the essential need remains for a more secure, cost-competitive national energy supply. Diversifying the electricity mix to include more renewables would strengthen Albania’s energy security.
PRMs geological potential (RESEERVE West Balkan Mineral Register):
− Small to medium sized Cr deposits of 15Mt Proved and 2Mt Proved and Probable ore reserves;
− Small to medium sized Fe and Fe-Ni deposits of 162Mt Proved and 58Mt Proved and Probable ore reserves;
− Medium to large Cu ores, some containing Au, of 25Mt Proved ore reserves;
− Ti (rutile) – magnetite large deposits of 80Mt Proved and Probable ore reserves;
− 12Mt of phosphates (Proved ore reserves);
− Gypsum and talc.
Primary raw materials business opportunities (RESEERVE West Balkan Mineral Register):
− Development of the chromite’s mining sector (short- midterm goals, 0-10 years): Modernize and upgrade mines, increase the processing plants’ capacity and update their technology based on feasibility studies; Management of Cr extractive wastes;
Conduct a scoping /pre-feasibility study for vertical integration of the Cr sector.
− Development of the Fushe Bardhe phosphates (short term goals, 0-5 years): Additional exploration and geochemical research to assess the geological potential; Conducting a review study on the best available methods/techniques for phosphates processing;
Performing scoping and pre-feasibility studies based on the results of exploration works to examine the viability of phosphates extraction and processing.
− Development of Ti-magnetite (short term goals, 0-5 years): Additional exploration with the use of innovative techniques (i.e. remote sensing) to assess the geological potential; Conducting of a review study on the best available methods/techniques for Ti-magnetite processing; Performing a pre-feasibility study based on the results of exploration works examining the viability of Ti-magnetite extraction and processing.