Mining Power - Trepça, ready for exploitation
Mining Power - Trepça, ready for exploitation
Postuar nga: Trepça Data e publikimit :2010-01-25 12:42:30

Trepça, an enterprise under PAK administration which is in the process of restructuring, has long played a key role in Kosovo's economic development. The enterprise dates back to 1927 when Kosovo's mining resources - famed since Roman times - were first exploited by a British firm. During the 1980s, with 70% of the mineral wealth of the ex-Yugoslavia, Trepça had assets all around the country, and employed 20,000 workers.

One of world's most important mining operations for lead, zinc, and silver
At its height, Trepça generated a high percentage of total regional industrial production and was one of the former Yugoslavia's top exporters. Trepça was the leader in the Balkans in the mining of lead, zinc, silver and gold. Production was halted during the war years although Trepça itself was hardly damaged. Ferat Shala, Managing Director points out that just as Kosovo's mining resources fuelled the development of heavy industry in the past, Trepça - if given the right support - could be revived to support the Kosovar economy in the future.

Wide range of activities
The Trepça facility includes enterprises involved in mining, metallurgy, the chemical industry, metal processing and other types of production and manufacturing. Current primary products are ore and concentrate of lead and zinc with significant content of silver and gold. Other products include sulphuric acid and zinc powder.

Vast resources yet to be exploited
The raw materials needed for further growth are definitely available. Trepça exploits Kosovo's Trepça mineral belt, which extends across the country from south-east to north-west. The area has extensive deposits of lead and zinc as well as deposits of silver and gold. "There are many other minerals present as well, but we currently lack the technology to extract them. We plan to extract these mineral resources as the economy develops", Ferat Shala says.

50 million tonnes of verified lead and zinc reserves
In fact, according to several recent studies, Trepça has around 50 million tonnes of confirmed reserves of lead and zinc in areas that have already been explored, in addition to potential deposits in unexplored areas. "International companies will be very interested in this high number, and in the other areas that they themselves can explore. All studies of Kosovo's mining resources have been very positive", Ferat Shala says.

Strong foundations for future growth
Trepça has built the foundations for continued strong growth now that the war years have ended. As Ferat Shala explains, "We have a well developed tradition in mining and industry as well as the resources to support heavy industry and the human resources we need to move forward. We consider that our lead and zinc reserves will serve as a catalyst for Kosovo's continued development". Trepça maintains its focus on hard work and high standards of quality. The company works closely with enterprises in a wide range of sectors, including chemicals, processing of metals and more. "We have everything to succeed in the future: raw materials, hardworking people, and resources. We need future investors to help us achieve our goals", Ferat Shala says.

Producing at only one-tenth of capacity
The company's production capacity is around 100,000 tonnes per month; currently production is around 10,000 tonnes per month. "We are producing only a tenth of what we are capable of because we lack the technologies we need. Co-operation with investors like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank will help us bring back the capacities which are needed for the mines," Ferat Shala says. Also, Ferat Shala adds that the European Commission, in a show of confidence in the future of Trepça, has funded a hydro-backfilling project to prepare the mines for further development. "There is so much that we can offer Kosovo and our investors, once we have the right investment support", he says confidently.

Among Balkan companies with highest potential
In fact, according to Kosovo's privatisation agency, Trepca Mines and Minerals is one of the companies in the Balkans with the highest growth potential, thanks to extensive natural resources, trained personnel, a long mining tradition, and Kosovo's strategic location and developed road infrastructure. Trepca needs now a new proper feasibility study as a preliminary to the privatisation process. It is also open to forming public-private partnerships. Ferat Shala explains, "A part of study is being done by experts from the University of Berlin, who will identify Trepça - Enterprise under PAK Administration" strongest assets and potential. In our current phase, we need the experience and knowledge of European companies to help us improve Trepça - Enterprise under PAK Administration."

Strong foundations for future growth
Trepça has built the foundations for continued strong growth now that the war years have ended. As Ferat Shala explains, "We have a well developed tradition in mining and industry as well as the resources to support heavy industry and the human resources we need to move forward. We consider that our lead and zinc reserves will serve as a catalyst for Kosovo's continued development". Trepça maintains its focus on hard work and high standards of quality. The company works closely with enterprises in a wide range of sectors, including chemicals, processing of metals and more. "We have everything to succeed in the future: raw materials, hardworking people, and resources. We need future investors to help us achieve our goals", Ferat Shala says.

Well established co-operation with the EU
Trepça has a long history of exporting to European markets. Ferat Shala is very positive about the future of Trepça (and of Kosovo) as a productive partner for EU member countries. He says, "Kosovo will be an open market for investments from Europe and beyond. Trepça's main market now is the EU, and we are very open to forming more partnerships with EU companies."

Transparency and high standards
Trepça is overseen by Kosovo's Privatisation Agency and by the Ministry of Mining and Energy, which is helping to formulate future growth strategies for the enterprise. Trepça is also overseen by the Kosovo Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals (ICMM), an independent mining and minerals commission, which helps to ensure that the company maintains high standards. Trepça recently won an award from the Kosovar-American Chamber of Commerce as one of Kosovo's best exporters.

The future for Trepça looks promising. Ferat Shala concludes, "The fact that Kosovo's mines were the powerhouse of the ex-country is still in our favour; this makes Trepça an excellent investment opportunity. We remain a top exporter for Kosovo, and we are very open and transparent. All our work is done according to EU standards".

Mining Power - Trepça, ready for exploitation
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