The geopolitical significance of Kosovo’s ore wealth

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The mining, agricultural and energy resources of Kosovo and Metohija were the topic of the ninth round table of the cycle “Reintegration or demarcation – Talks on the future of Kosovo and Metohija”, held on February 27, in the hall of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Belgrade. The participants reminded on the natural and energy resources that the state has in the area.

It is necessary to bear in mind the raw material resources and economic capacities of Kosovo and Metohija in the total economic resources of Serbia, as well as the infrastructure in the field of electricity and water management in which Serbia has invested for decades.

What are the raw material resources and economic capacities of Kosovo and Metohija in the total economic resources of Serbia, are the reserves of raw materials depleted or the exploitation of some rare metals, whose globally significant deposits are located in the southern Serbian province, are yet to come, and what are significant infrastructure facilities in the area; electricity and water utilities that Serbia has invested in for decades. These questions were answered by Slobodan Vujic, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Engineering Sciences of Serbia (AINS), also a retired professor of the Faculty of Mining and Geology, University of Belgrade, and assistant director of science at the Mining Institute, prof. Prof. Dr. Slavoljub Lekic from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade, then AINS Corresponding Member and Associate of the Mining Institute, Dr. Svetomir Maksimovic, President of the Assembly of the Serbian Gas Association, Dr. Vojislav Vuletic, and Novak Bjelic, MSc, General Manager of the Trepca company.

The future in radioactive tailings


Prof. dr. Slavoljub Lekic pointed out that agricultural land covers 53% of the area of ​​Kosovo and Metohija, and forests 42%.

“The immediate occupation of Kosovo and Metohija was primarily through the purchase of land, property and houses. In this sense, land as a public good has become a commodity of a special kind, subject to different traffic conditions than in the rest of Serbia. Albanian leaders paid special attention to the purchase of construction and agricultural land as they came to believe that population was not enough to secede Kosovo and Metohija, but ownership of the area was also needed. ”

“There has been no more severe punishment than the 20-year stay of Euro-Atlantic colonial troops (USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany) and their civilian staff. With only five years left, do Albanians have to move out or continue to build a future on the radioactive waste disposal site? ”

The potentials are respectable


In order to look at the motives and answer the question of whether the mineral wealth is the reason for the seizure of Kosovo and Metohija, one must not overlook the fact, warned in his presentation prof. dr. Slobodan Vujic, that the degree of mineral resources depletion in most European countries is very high. On the other hand, he points out, the mineral resources of Kosovo and Metohija are respected globally and of great economic importance for our country. The professor stated that in the second half of the 20th century, in Kosovo and Metohija, on average, 15-20 million tons of mineral resources of different value were exploited annually.

Bearing in mind that due to decades of lack of investment in geological explorations, the present state of mineral resources of non-ferrous and precious metals of Kosovo and Metohija is not reliable, Vujic said that the assessment based on geological indicators, experience and knowledge we have allows us to conclude that the mineral potential of this areas large.

“A reliable valuation of this production is not feasible for several reasons, primarily because of the volatility of commodity prices, such as non-ferrous and precious metals, the conditionality of the prices of mineral resources such as coal, and social, macroeconomic and political interests and the influence of local communities … But although not all the benefits can be quantified, the fact is that the Kosovo-Metohija mineral resource complex has made a tremendous contribution to employment, addressing social issues, raising living standards, education, road infrastructure development, urbanization, housing and extractive industry development. ”

Professor Vujic recalled that by 1999, ores, lead, zinc, silver, gold, nickel, aluminum, chromium, magnesite, asbestos, kaolin, brick mineral raw materials, cement raw materials, decorative and technical stones, thermal mineral waters and coal. Occurrences of indium, germanium, gallium, thallium, cadmium and tin have been reported.

“In terms of distribution and quantities, the most significant resource is coal, which covers about 60% of the area of ​​Kosovo and Metohija. The average lower thermal value of coal is about 8,000 kJ / kg, the estimated geological reserves are 12.5-14 billion tons, or expressed in energy equivalent of 2.37-2.65 billion tons of oil. At the current level of coal consumption in Serbia, exploitable coal reserves of the Kosovo-Metohija Basin would be sufficient for the next 180-200 years. Between 1922 and 1999, about 240 million tonnes of coal were produced in underground and surface exploitation in Kosovo and Metohija, or energy equivalent to about 45 million tonnes of oil. ”

The mineral resources of Kosovo and Metohija are indisputable, realistic and strategic capital, said Dr. Svetomir Maksimovic. He stated that Serbia ranks third in Europe’s coal production and fifth in the world, and that just under 4% of Serbia’s coal deposits have been used so far.

“The depiction of Kosovo-Metohija’s wealth actually provides an essential answer to the question of why Kosovo was abducted from Serbia. In the general plundering of Kosovo’s wealth, with its impressive significance of impressive coal reserves, it has been implicated for decades in the same state, only ‘powerful’ individuals have changed. The essential conclusion for us is that at no cost should we think about the partition of Kosovo and Metohija because it will permanently follow us without the possibility of correction. Serbia must not relinquish its territory and its wealth because it would cause grave accusation against future generations, given what we had taken away from them by a reckless decision. ”

Economic power of medieval Serbia


Prof. dr. Dr Slobodan Vujic emphasized the fact that mining provided the material basis for the construction and development of a medieval Serbian state, but mining had the same function after World War II in the reconstruction and construction of a devastated country. In the area from Leposavic to Pristina and Novi Brdo, the geological past has left numerous deposits of non-ferrous ores in the heritage, and in this ore area the tradition of exploitation of lead, zinc, silver and gold ores reaches to Roman times and medieval Serbia.

“I am free to say that if there were no mining, today Serbia would not have so many monasteries and monastery treasuries. Novo Brdo, where silver was mined, was more expensive because of its gold content, and Brskovo was the leader in its gifts. According to records from that time, the annual revenue of the Novo Brdo mine was 120,000-200,000 ducats. This information speaks about Novo Brdo, but also about the economic power of mining in medieval Serbia. In the invasion of the Turks and weighing forces in the fight against them, the organization, strength and reputation of Novo Brdo comes to the fore. It took the Turks about half a century to conquer the territory of medieval Serbia, and to conquer Novi Brdo for 32 years. It speaks to the well-designed defense, knowledge, equipment, management skills, organization, courage and material power of Novo Brdo, in the broader sense, these are attributes of medieval Serbian mining. ”

Three occupations of Trepca


On the Trepca as a factor in the economic and social development of Metohija with Kosovo and the Serbian state, Novak Bjelic, MA, had a remarkable presentation.

As the longtime director of Trepca, the Yugoslavia’s industry giant, Bjelic made the cut and showed that this smelter has been a factor in the economic and social development of Metohija with Kosovo and the Serbian state for centuries. He recalled that the first written trace of Trepca dates back to 1303, and that the first recorded cessation of production dates back to 1455 when Turkish Sultan Mehmed II seized the smelter.

The second occupation of Trepça, Metohija with Kosovo and Serbia within Yugoslavia, took place during the Second World War by Hitler’s Germany and its allies. The third occupation in the history of its existence followed in 2000, as a consequence of the brutal violation of Security Council resolution 1244, when Trepça ceased to operate.

“Two mines with one flotation (ore processing plant) continue: the Belo Brdo mine with flotation near Leposavic, at the foot of Kopaonik Mountain, and the Crnac Mine, on the slope of Rogozna Mountain towards Novi Pazar.”

Precise data on Trepca’s operations from 1930 to 2000 were presented by Vujic, noting that about 36 million tonnes of ore were produced in Trepca during that period, with an average lead content of 5.9%, zinc 3.9% and silver 85 g / t. 2,143,515 tons of lead and 1,414,975 tons of zinc were produced. The average annual production was 514,552 tons of ore.

“There are two groups of mines in the Trepca business system in Kosovo and Metohija, in the south of Ayvalia, Kisnica, Badovac and Novo Brdo with a joint flotation of 600,000 tons of ore per year, and in the north Belo Brdo, Crnac, Zuta Prlina and Koporic with flotation in Leposavic with an estimated capacity of 350,000 tons of ore per year. At the locations of these mines underground exploitation is carried out with interruptions from Roman times and the Middle Ages to the present. After World War II, these mines produced about 20 million tons of ore. ”

Vujic also made an interesting estimate that in the period from the Second World War to the end of the 20th century, more than $ 10 billion was invested in geological exploration, opening, equipping and development of mines, procurement of equipment and machines, introduction of new technologies, construction of infrastructure and logistic mining systems, construction of flotations, separations, coal cleaning and processing plants, coal gasification plants, construction of internal roads, power supply systems, regulation of water flows and protection of mines from water, etc.. launching of mining production, such as construction of railway, road, housing and water infrastructure, investments in health, education, culture, science, environmental protection, archeology, publishing, sports.

Participants in the Ninth Round Table agreed that the resources of Kosovo and Metohija are indisputable strategic capital. By adopting a “swift solution”, which means explicit recognition of the independence of all or most of the present province, they warned that Serbia would be permanently deprived of property in its own territory. It would be irreparable damage.

Gasification of Kosovo lignite


Dr Vojislav Vuletic of the Serbian Gas Association said that in the past, the Republic of Serbia was developing its southern province with projects such as the construction of a coal gas plant in Obilic, near Pristina, which successfully produced gas for the energy needs of consumers in Serbia and Macedonia.

The ‘Kosovo Fertilizer’ nitrogen fertilizer plant consisted of lignite drying and grading plants, power and heat production plants, air decomposition plants, and coal gasification plants. Coal drying and grading plants were preparing and repairing the quality of lignite for the needs of the heating plant and coal gasification plants. The heating plant produced electricity and steam for the needs of the gasification plant. The air decomposition plants extracted nitrogen and oxygen from the air. Nitrogen was needed for the synthesis of ammonia in nitrogen and oxygen for gasification of coal in gas generators. The estimated annual production of nitrogen fertilizers was 300,000 tonnes. The lignite gasification plant in Obiliq had a production capacity of 90,000 m3 / h of crude generator gas. For the production of 90,000 m3 / h of raw gas, 80 tons of dried lignite, 9,900 m3 of oxygen with a purity of 96% and 65 tons of superheated water vapor are consumed. ”


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