Kosovo Faces Golden Future

Prishtinë, 15 December 2007 – A new geophysical survey says Kosovo has bigger deposits of gold and other metals than previously thought.

News of the fresh discovery came in a report, entitled, “Kosovo: A Place of Gold”, issued by Kosovo’s Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals, ICMM, on Friday.

“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”, the statement said.

The deputy director of the ICMM, Naser Peci, said at a news conference that “the survey has enabled us to establish where these metals and minerals are, but it has not determined the exact size of these deposits.”

Experts believe greater investment will come once the uncertainty over UN-administered Kosovo’s status has been resolved.

“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 has been resolved”, said Nick Burcham, technical programmes consultant for the ICMM.

It was not clear from reports where in Kosovo the fresh deposits are located.

The survey, launched in September 2006, was conducted by a low-flying plane, which covered most of Kosovo’s territory, apart from the Ground Safety Zone at the boundary with Serbia because the Belgrade authorities did not give permission for overflights.

After eight years under UN administration, Kosovo is expected to declare its independence from Serbia in the coming months.

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN