Newsroom / News / Media / Info Magazine LGP NEWS 02/2022 / Mining potential in the Western Balkans

Mining potential in the Western Balkans

Mining potential in the Western Balkans

The mining industry is not just about extracting minerals: for the development of raw materials, this highly complex key industry uses new intelligent technologies that are oriented towards the needs of the processing industry. This ensures efficient, safe and clean operations that are in line with environmentally friendly mining standards. 

The supply of industrial metals, especially copper, is currently growing very slowly due to the lack of investment in geological research and a backlog in the construction of new mines over the past decade, despite projections of strongly growing demand fueled by the sustainable energy transition. In today’s conditions, the process of obtaining a permit and ensuring the support of the local population for large-scale mining projects has become increasingly difficult. Investors in advanced stages of mining project development are often surprised by negative decisions of the authorities. 

This is frequently justified by the local residents’ demands for an intact natural environment, which must be met regardless of economic losses. However, experts, scientists, and industry insiders all agree: Building more progressive and environmentally friendly mining facilities is, due to the high industrial value this generates, key to building a future green economy in Europe that relies on natural resources like minerals and metals needed to produce green energy. 

The question arises what would happen if the opposition to new mining projects was successful everywhere in the world for any metals and minerals deposits that exist. As a recent tweet aptly observed: Environmentalists will have to get used to walking only because even a bicycle is made of over 90% metal! Given the fact that North Macedonia has the most ancient history of mining on the entire Balkan Peninsula, with active mineral deposits including copper and gold, among others, this sector is essential for the country’s economy, with a relatively high share in industrial production. 

It is worth mentioning that LGP is involved in several large-scale projects in the SEE region, commands excellent market expertise in both the ferrous and nonferrous mining and metal industries, proudly underlining that the LGP portfolio has recently been extended to ongoing acquisition deals between major local players in the chromium and nickel mining as well as in the processing industry in wider Europe. Furthermore, LGP played a leading role in the acquisition process of the three biggest mines of the region, this includes a chrome and ferrochrome mine in Albania, a ferro-nickel mine in Kosovo, and a boron-lithium mine in Lopare, Bosnia & Herzegovina. 

Albanian mining strategy 

Albania is likewise rich in valuable mineral resources and consequently, the mining industry here has a very specific importance for the economic development of the country as well. Geologically, there are a large number of different raw materials distributed over the entire national territory. 

This includes ferrous and non-ferrous metals (chromium, copper, zinc, ferro-nickel, nickel-silicate, nickel sulphites, bauxites, titano-magnetics, precious metals, etc.), industrial minerals (olivenites, dolomites, clays, magnesites, gypsum, phosphorites, volcanic glass, decorative stones, basalts, quartzites, quartzite sands etc.), coal, peat, and other basic construction materials. Because a prosperous mining sector as a core industry can properly boost the country’s economic development, the Albanian government is currently actively transforming it so that it can make an important contribution to the macroeconomy and employment in the future. 

The national “mining strategy 2010-2025” envisages the dynamic growth and sustainable and harmonized development of the mining industry. This includes the drafting of policies and strategies that guarantee the promotion of domestic and foreign investments, the application of innovative technologies, increased mineral processing in the country, more competition, transparency and professionalism of mining institutions along with the reinforcement and consolidation of mining capital. In addition, coordination with ongoing EU programmes and compliance with international industry standards and best practices will also be pushed. 

While the Albanian Government actually is responsible for mining policies, regulation and monitoring of mining activities, the exploration and exploitation of minerals are carried out by private companies, either local or foreign. To date, more than 500 valid mining permits have been issued to private companies by government authorities. 

Legal framework for mining activities 

Over the last three decades, the government has adopted several primary and secondary sectoral legislation for the development of the mining sector. Currently all the activities in the mining sector are governed by the law “On the mining sector in the Republic of Albania” as amended, and a large number of secondary legislation enacted for implementation of this law. This law establishes the rules for carrying out mining and post-mining activities in Albania with the purpose of promoting the mining activities in the country through ensuring transparency and free competition in these activities, maximize the public benefits from the mining activities and protection of the environment and public health from the mining risks and from waste of the mining industry. Furthermore the Mining Law stipulates that any mineral in its natural shape located in the Albanian territory represents public property. The engagement of private persons either domestic or foreign is authorized through mining permits issued according to the procedures and requirements established in this law. 


Arlind Zeqiri, M.A., Managing Partner and Business Development Director at LGP

My documents

Add page

There are currently no documents in your basket.