Kosovo’s Ferronikeli to recommence production in 2007

Prishtinë, Oct 6, 2006 – The Kosovo mining e smelting Nickel plant Ferronikeli, bought by the British Alferon, has started operating.

Initially, the preparatory work was made: roads around the factory and damaged technology have been repaired, and destroyed machinery has been replaced.

Kostas Lamnatos, the director of the New Company Ferronikeli LLC, said that production and mining are expected to recommence next year.

“We think that February next year will be the month of our re-activation,” he said.

330 persons have already been employed, while 1,000 are to be hired in total. The director did not emphasize how much money has already been invested in Ferronikeli. He only said that their company would have to invest around €20 million within three years.

The privatization of Ferronikeli is the most important sell-off of Socially Owned Enterprises in Kosovo up to now.

Ferronikeli ore mining and metallurgical complex was set up in 1984 to produce ferronickel for exports. It produced and exported 6,800 tonnes a year of nickel, in ferronickel ingots, before the 1990s but since 1998 it has been idle.

Ferronikeli has three open pit mines: the Dushkaja mine with estimated reserves of 6.2 million tones; the Suka mine – 0.8 million tonnes and the Gllavica with 6.8 million tones.

All the mines in the complex were covered early this year with exploration and exploitation licence by the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Kosovo.