Albania: Mining, Minerals and Fuel Resources

Topics Covered

Welcome to Albania
Overview of Resources
Fossil Fuels
Investment
Sources

Welcome to Albania

Albania is located in southeastern Europe between Montenegro and Kosovo to the north and Greece in the south. The total area of the country is 28,748 km2, and it has a population of 3,002,859 as of July 2012. The country enjoys a mild temperate climate.

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

In the past, Albania was conquered and ruled by several countries and followed communist ideologies. The Republic of Albania was formed in 1992 and a multiparty democracy was established. It joined NATO in April 2009. Although the country is moving forward economically, it still remains one of the poorest in Europe. The GDP of Albania was $25.32 billion in 2011. The government is taking steps to implement fiscal and legislative reforms and attract foreign investment. However, Albania’s inadequate infrastructure could hamper these efforts.

The natural resources of Albania include coal, bauxite, petroleum, natural gas, copper, iron ore, chromite, and nickel. The mining sector is small scale and is not properly documented or developed. However, mining experts believe that there is a vast amount of unexploited mineral wealth in Albania. The country is in need for advanced machinery and methods to locate these deposits. The Mining Law of Albania was formed in 1994 and it has been approved by the World Bank.

Overview of Resources

In 2011, Albania’s chief mineral reserves included copper, limestone, petroleum, and chromite.

The Albanian mining sector’s output in 2011 is as follows:

  • Copper ore increased by 118%
  • Ferrochromium increased by 24%
  • Cement increased by 38%
  • Kaolin increased by 23%
  • Lignite decreased by 52%.

The map of Albania. Image Credit: CIA Factbook

Fossil Fuels

Albania is believed to have considerable coal reserves. These reserves are mainly located in the following regions:

  • Tirana region - 86% of reserves
  • Korçe- Pogradec region - 10% of reserves
  • Memaliaj region - 4% of reserves

Investment

The Albanian government has ventured to issuing permits for prospecting, exploration, and mining activities in the country. As of December 2009, there were 680 outstanding permits allocated exclusively for mining (specifically 282 permits for limestone, 262 permits for chromite, and 37 permits for iron- nickel and nickel-silicate).

Tirex Resources, a Canadian mining company, has received mining permits from the Albanian Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy this month. It will become the first company to bring modern exploration methods into Albania. Tirex has already been working at a 100%-owned gold-copper-zinc mineral district in Albania for the last five years.

Albania has the potential to generate revenue from its mining sector as exploration projects and inflow of foreign investments increase. The government will have to ensure economic and social stability and provide investors a secure environment. The government will also have to upgrade the country’s infrastructure as soon as possible so as to see the economy flourish 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/2011/myb3- 2011-al.pdf

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

http://aea-al.org/?p=1160

http://www.steelguru.com/metals_news/Tirex_Resources_obtains_25_year_mine_license_approvals/290713.html

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