DOI: 10.5593/sgem2012/s03.v1060


Wednesday 1 August 2012 by Libadmin2012

References: 12th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference, www.sgem.org, SGEM2012 Conference Proceedings/ ISSN 1314-2704, June 17-23, 2012, Vol. 1, 847 - 854 pp


This paper summarizes the contribution that the minerals industry has made to the
economic development of Kosovo, by analyzing the activity and environment,
predominantly over the last ten to twelve years. The decision to develop a mine and the
social, socio-economic and environmental consequences of that decision comes midway
through a process that begins with mineral exploration and continues through closure,
decommissioning and reclamation. In recent years, significant structural changes have
occurred in both the minerals industry, and the socio-political environment into which
the industry has moved, particularly in Kosovo. Because of these changes, the point of
contact and potential conflict between communities and mining interests over social,
socio-economic and environmental issues has been drawn forward from the mining
phase into the exploration phase. It is the opinion of these writers that the industry,
collectively, is ill equipped to handle this reality.
The paper identifies that sustainable development of the industry relies on its economic
success, to generate sufficient wealth from the mineral rents to satisfy the requirements
of the owners, as well as satisfying the requirements for capital generation, for
reinvestment in project and social capital. It is clear that this can only be achieved
through capital investment and operational success, and that this only happens when the
climate for investment is favorable. In Kosovo, there is a very clear linkage between
political and social stability, and capital investment from foreign institutions. This
stability must be manifested on a regional basis, since global competitiveness of the
industry will only be achieved if the regional economy is able to provide appropriate
infrastructure, free trade and movement of capital and goods, in order that the industry
can achieve benefits in terms of economies of scale and access to world markets. There
is shortage of mineral endowment in the region, and responsible exploitation of its
mineral resources will contribute significantly to its success. However, there are threats
to this development, in terms of the “curse of resource endowment” having negative
effects on other aspects of the economies, especially in countries that have been
devastated by war and other threat, and whose mineral wealth remains untapped. In
order to move towards sustainable economic growth, the paper advocates for the clear
objectives in order to achieve strategic management of mineral resources in Kosovo and
balance this with socio-economic development based on modern legal framework.

Keywords: Mineral exploration, Kosovo, Sustainable management, Social challenge,
Legal basis, Lignite