Albania has a longstanding history in mining with significant mineral deposits of chromium, nickel, copper, limestone etc. Geological studies carried out from 1945 to 1995, revealed substantial deposits of chromium ore, ferronickel, copper, bitumen, and non-metallic minerals such as limestone and decorative stones etc. The sector was previously dominated by state-owned enterprises and started to open up to private investment in 1994, when the Mining law was approved.
Chromium represents the main mineral extracted in Albania and it is the main contributor to the employment in the mining sector. Recoverable reserves of chromium (at an average quality 30.8% Cr2O3) are estimated at 10 million ton67, located mainly in the districts of Bulqiza, Kukes, Has, Mat and Pogradec. Current strategy in the sector focuses in attracting large strategic investments in processing of chromium ore
During the 80s, Copper was the most successful sector in Albania’s mineral extraction industry. Geological reserves of copper deposits (including Cu 1.3-2.65%, zinc, gold and silver) are estimated at about 50 million tons74. However, recoverable reserves are estimated at 27 million ton. Copper deposits are located in six districts: Puka, Mirdita, Korça, Shkodra, Has and Kukes regions.
Albania’s deposits of Nickel (Ni 0.85-1.15%) are estimated at 30079 million tons and are located near Pogradec, Librazhd, Bilisht, Kukes and Peshkopi Nickel sub-sector is quite un-exploited as compared to its potential.
Geological studies in Albania up to 1995 revealed approximately 32 different kinds of rocks and construction industrial minerals, expanded all over the country, including: limestone, sandstones, dolomites, carbonate decorative stones, clay, granites, gypsum etc. These minerals represent principal raw material for Albania’s construction industry.