Kosovo – a land of gold

Prishtinë, January 4, 2008 – The Kosovo Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals (ICMM) presented in December the first results of the airborne geophysical survey of Kosovo that was recently concluded. Dr. Naser Peci, Deputy Director of ICMM, stressed at a press briefing held on this occasion that the survey made obvious that Kosovo has an unexpected degree of prospectivity in the area of metals and minerals.

Especially gold, nickel and chrome deposits under Kosovo’s surface seem to be larger than known so far. But also aluminium, copper, iron metals and lead-zinc deposits are spread over Kosovo’s territory and represent a huge potential for investment. “Kosovo has hundreds of prospective areas, several foreign companies are already exploring for minerals and there are liable to be many more companies coming after status”, said Nick Burcham, technical programmes consultant for ICMM.

The survey was initiated in September 2006. A specially designed low-flying aircraft collected geophysical data across Kosovo including magnetic fields, electromagnetics and gamma-ray radiometrics. The survey was conducted by the Joint Airborne Geoscience Capability, which is a joint venture between the Geological Survey of Finland and the British Geological Survey. A total of 45,429 km was flown on east-west flight lines over the territory of Kosovo. Only the Ground Safety Zone with Serbia and Montenegro had to be spared as the Serbian authorities didn’t give permission for Administrative Boundary Line overflights. Costs of around €1.2m were covered by the Kosovo Consolidated Budget (KCB) through ICMM, a KCB funded institution.

Measuring geophysical parameters now enables geophysicists to examine beneath the earth’s surface and ultimately benefit Kosovo’s economy, environment, agriculture and land management. It augments and expands ICMM’s geological knowledge, helping to map the location of many essential minerals such as limestone, sand, gravel and industrial minerals. The exact amount of the raw material will have to be determined through an exploration operation. Usually mining companies purchase such geophysical data, analyse it and then decide to apply for exploration licences.

The Governing Board of the ICMM will soon decide on when and how to make the data available for investors and the public. The ICMM experts suggested that it will probably be in spring 2008.

Kosovo has been administered by the UN since NATO bombing in 1999 pushed out Serbian forces to end the ethnic cleansing and mass killing of ethnic Albanians.

ECIKS (adapted from Euinkosovo.org)