Hungary: Mining, Minerals and Fuel Resources

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By G.P. Thomas

Topics Covered

Welcome to Hungary
Overview of Resources
Industrial Minerals
Fossil Fuels
Investment
Sources

Welcome to Hungary

Hungary is located northwest of Romania in Central Europe. The total area of the country is 93,028 km2, and it has a population of 9,958,453 as of July 2012. The country has a temperate climate.

The national flag of Hungary.
Image Credit: CIA Factbook.

With the collapse of the communist rule in Hungary, the country had its first multiparty elections in 1990 which brought in a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and was accepted into the EU five years later. The private sector in the country accounts for 80% of the GDP. Hungary has many foreign companies and the total value invested by them is more than $70 billion.

Hungary’s economy did suffer during the economic downturn of 2009, which brought about low domestic consumption and lesser exports. The GDP of Hungary was $195.6 billion in 2011.

The natural resources of Hungary are very limited and include coal, natural gas, and bauxite. The mining sector of Hungary is small scale and does not play a significant role in the country’s economy.

Overview of Resources

In 2010, the production of Hungary’s mining and quarrying sector reduced by 19.8% compared with the production in 2009.

The mining sector’s output in 2010 is as follows:

  • Pig iron increased by 26.2%
  • Crude steel increased by 19.8%
  • Bauxite increased by 16%
  • Alumina increased by 15%
  • Bentonite decreased by 33.3%
  • Gypsum decreased by 16.7%.

The country depended on imports for its fuel needs. In 2010, petroleum and petroleum products, accounted for 5.6% of the value of all imports, while natural and manufactured gas accounted for 3.8%.

The map of Hungary. Image Credit: CIA Factbook

Industrial Minerals

In 2010, Nostra Cement, a subsidiary of Strabag SE, planned to undertake the construction of a new cement plant at Kiralyegyhaza, which was slated to be finished in 2011. On completion, the new plant would have a production capacity of 750,000 Mt/yr of clinker.

Fossil Fuels

In June 2012, the government of Hungary approved and entered into a joint venture with Australia-based Wildhorse Energy (WHE) to explore the possibility of resuming mining operations in the Mecsek Hills near the city of Pécs. WHE believes that this could become one of Europe’s largest uranium projects

Investment

Hungary’s mining sector and related companies suffered a major setback in late 2010 when toxic red sludge, which is a waste product of aluminum production, entered the Danube River after a spill at a Hungarian factory. The spill also caused the death of four people and left over a hundred injured. Although the toxic levels in the Danube are not at dangerous levels, other rivers, hamlets, and arable lands have been polluted by this spill.

Experts feel that Hungary will continue to be a small producer of mineral commodities in the coming years.

Disclaimer: The Author of this article does not imply any investment recommendation and some content is speculative in nature. The Author is not affiliated in any way with any companies mentioned and all statistical information is publically available.

Sources

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2010/myb3-2010-hu.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/hu.html

http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/06/27/hungary-prepares-uranium-mine/#axzz2CIifsOG9

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/1007-hance_hungary_disaster.html

Date Added: Nov 20, 2012 | Updated: Dec 12, 2013
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