Kosovo: Licensing of mines delayed for no reason

Prishtinë, Mar 14, 2006 – Shyqri Kelmendi, Mining Advisor at the MTI, considers that the international staff of the Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals (MEM), is an obstacle to the development of mines sector in Kosovo, Kosovar daily LAJM reports.

He is convinced that ICMM, which operates under UNMIK’s umbrella, is not working for the interest of Kosovo, although its officials state so.

“For years they [ICMM] have been postponing the license for Trepça under different justifications,” says Kelmendi. “In reality, political reasons stand behind these justifications. They [the internationals] do not recognise this – they try to cover it [the issuance of licenses] with groundless justifications. They work against Kosovo’s interests.”

According to Kelmendi, Trepça meets the licensing criteria. He also says that it is high time to think about different management policies for Kosovo mineral resources.

“We should think about advancing the private capital and not just about a privatisation through which an investor buys a mine,” says Kelmendi. “Privatisation is successful only when there are many shareholders, including the state. This is the case in many countries across the world. Some countries have laws which do not allow an investor to hold more than 49% of shares.”