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south-east european

INDUSTRIAL MARKET 21

SEE INDUSTRY

Source: Dreamstime

Bulgaria

For its relatively small size, Bulgaria has very diverse geology. The tectonic

settle of the country is presented mainly of four first-order tectonic units and

many second and third-order units. The main raw materials which are mined

in Bulgaria include lignite coal, lead and zinc, copper and polymetal ores,

gypsum, limestones, bentonite, kaolin, quartz sands, fire-clays, marbles. The

biggest open basin in the Balkan Peninsula for lignite coal is situated in Bul-

garia's East Sredna Gora mountain.

The mining industry of the country makes up about 5% of the total GDP and

provides direct employment to approximately 30 000 people, and through re-

lated industries to about 120 000. A total of 23 million tones of natural resourc-

es are registered in the country, as well as

industrial deposits of 55 minerals and rocks for industrial production. The

most important country resources are its deposits of rock-salt, kaolin-contain-

ing sands, quartz sands, barite, gypsum and limestones for the production of

faience. An essential share belongs also to the clay deposits (fireproof, bento-

nite and ordinary ones), dolomites, limestones for the chemical industry,

quartzite, perlite, fluorite. Prospecting for vermiculite, graphite and others has

been carried out in the recent years.

Greece

Greece is a EU country with a significant mineral resources background in

terms of quality, quantity and variety of ores, minerals and aggregates. The

Greek mining and metallurgical industry constitutes an important sector of the

economic activity of the country as it supplies essential raw materials for pri-

mary industries and various downstream users.

Although the sector's significance to the economy has been declining for

the past 20 years, it still contributes for about 2% of the GDP with the

inclusion of interrelated enterprises such as quarrying, concrete, process-

ing and production of intermediate and final products. There is a certain

opportunity for further development and flourishment as long as current

obstacles of the latest economic crisis are overcome and new investments

are attracted.

The mining/metallurgical sector in Greece covers a wide range of mineral

commodities and comprises four major sub-sectors, namely: metallic miner-

als (bauxite-alumina-aluminium, nickel, lead-zinc, gold, copper, huntite/hy-

dromagnesite etc.); industrial minerals (bentonite, perlite, magnesite and

magnesium compounds, pumice, pozzolan, gypsum, attapulgite, amphibo-

lites, olivenite, calcium carbonates, industrial clays etc.); marbles and orna-

ment stones; energy minerals (lignite); geothermy and hydrocarbons (up-

stream process).

Greece does not produce certain high-tech metals such as lithium, titanium,

tantalum, platinum, and rare earth metals like neodymium, dysprosium, etc.,

but it is an important producer of basic metals and industrial minerals, some of

them with international credentials. Exporters of primary source and processed

materials hold leading positions in the European and international markets in

products such as bauxite, alumina, aluminum, nickel, caustic magnesia, ben-

tonite, perlite, pumice stone and marbles. For example, Greece is the only

country in the world capable of producing huntite, the leading producer of

perlite, the second producer of pumice and bentonite and as well as the first

magnesite export country in the EU.

The exploitation of the country's mineral wealth significantly contributes to

the regional development because the mining industry is mainly active in pe-

ripheral regions, employs a considerable number of workers from the local

communities and develops a variety of other jobs supporting the productive

work of mining.

Kosovo

Kosovo is a relatively young, landlocked country in the central Balkans

that borders Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It is small in size

yet has substantial mineral resources of cobalt, nickel, lead, lignite, silver,

and zinc. Kosovo's territory is geologically composed of various sedimenta-

ry, magmatic, and metamorphic formations that contain deposits of aggre-

gates and construction materials, bauxite, chromium, lead, magnesite, nick-

el, silver, and zinc.

In addition to that, the country also has substantial hydropower and wind

energy potential. The eastern Vardari Zone in the north forms the most impor-

tant mineral zone and hosts the Trepca lead, silver, and zinc mines, which

provided the majority of mineral production in the former Yugoslavia until its

disintegration in 1990.

Kosovo's mineral output is generally small by regional and world standards.

The shares of mining and quarrying and manufacturing sectors in the coun-

try's gross domestic product (GDP) continued to be significantly below their

past levels in the 1980s as a result of the deindustrialization and the accom-