Home Page
News 25 May 13

Kosovo, Serbia Experts Duel over Trepca Mine

Economists from Kosovo and Serbia debated the future of the disputed Trepca mine complex, which according to estimates could be exploited profitably for decades to come.

BIRN Pristina

In the new episode of the TV debate series “Tema”, produced by BIRN and Internews, two economists from Kosovo and two from Serbia debated the economic potential of the disputed Trepca mining complex.

Panelists agreed that only dialogue can resolve the differences between Serbia and Kosovo over the half-defunct mine and restore production.

Radoman Rabrenovic, director of the Institute of Geology of Serbia, said the reserves of metal resources in Kosovo merit particular attention. 

However, according to Rabrenovic, many political questions currently impede the revitalization of Trepca.

Trepca today shares the same fate as the nearby divided town of Mitrovica. In the south, the socially owned enterprise is managed by the authorities of Kosovo.

Assets in the north are managed by an administration installed by the government of Serbia.

The ethnic Albanian former director of Trepca, Nazmi Mikullovci, said that it would take less than 200 million euro to revitalize the company that he managed back in the 1980s.

“To produce metal, Trepca needs 174 million euro, according to a study we conducted in 2005. But the problem is not with money but rather the administrative division between the south and north," he said.

"We need to overcome this this division and have Trepca function as one entirety; the investment funds are the least of problems,” he added.

 The Trepca complex comprises an 80km-long and 30km-wide network of dozens of active and inactive mines, which are estimated to hold at least 50 million tons of exploitable ore.

Both sides agree that the revival of this industrial behemoth would benefit both economies, regardless of how the current political and administrative problems are resolved.

The deputy president of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, Mihajlo Vesovic, said the risk of inappropriate and irrational exploitation of the resources should unite the interests of both Serbia and Kosovo.

According to him, low production levels in the company caused more trouble to Serbia than to Kosovo, as Serbian industry relied heavily on metals produced in Trepca.

Vesovic said the demand for lead and zinc, the two main ores in Trepca, was much greater in Serbia than in Kosovo.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce of Kosovo, Safet Gerxhaliu, said the impact of revitalization would be felt more in Kosovo than Serbia, as it would create at least 10,000 new jobs and exports worth around 300-500 million euro per year.

“In addition to 10,000 new jobs as a direct effect, there would be indirect employment as well, generating roughly over 20,000 jobs. This would have a very positive effect over the next 10-20 years in Kosovo,” he added.

The programme also discussed the economic interdependence between Kosovo and Serbia, where the two chambers of commerce challenged each other on the obstacles facing businessmen in the two countries.

The episode will be aired this Saturday, May 25, 2013, at 7pm on TV PINK 2

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

rising-balkan-risks-demand-action-home-and-abroad-12-14-2017 Comment 14 Dec 17 Rising Balkan Risks Demand Action Home and Abroad

Heightened tensions and potential violence have been predicted for the Balkans in 2018, so people in the region must find the courage to seek solutions themselves, with help from Washington and Brussels.

kosovo-is-wasting-its-energy-on-recognition-battles-11-27-2017 Comment 05 Dec 17 Kosovo is Wasting its Energy on Recognition Battles

Getting diplomatic recognition by small, far-off states is far less important than having a functioning economy.

the-kosovo-serbia-dialogue-is-just-lose-lose--11-13-2017 Comment 13 Nov 17 The Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue is Just ‘Lose-Lose’

Both countries, and both peoples, stand to lose out in the long term from a ‘dialogue’ that has never advanced beyond leaders shaking hands and photo opportunities in Brussels.

serbia-s-flour-export-ignites-trade-war-with-kosovo-11-03-2017 News 03 Nov 17 Serbia Warns Kosovo Over Extra Tax on Flour

Serbia said it would introduce unspecified 'counter-measures', after Kosovo said it was sticking by its decision to raise the tax on imported Serbian flour.

serbian-monarchists-british-right-wingers-plot-kosovo-resistance--11-02-2017 Investigation 03 Nov 17 Serbian Monarchists, British Right-Wingers Plot Kosovo ‘Resistance’

Russian-linked Serbian monarchists and a British far-right organisation have been seeking to equip mystery groups in north Kosovo in order to resist what they believe will be an attack on Serbs by Kosovo Albanians.

kosovo-and-catalonia-have-little-in-common-11-02-2017 Comment 02 Nov 17 Kosovo and Catalonia Have Little in Common

Catalonia’s recent declaration of independence has prompted many to draw comparisons with events in Kosovo – but closer analysis shows the two cases are very different.

kosovo-serbs-show-theirs-fears-on-establishing-the-army-11-01-2017 news 01 Nov 17 Thaci Vows to Ease Serb Fears About Kosovo Army

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci joined a discussion on the potential creation of a regular army in Kosovo, saying Serbian fears about such a development needed addressing.

suriname-triggers-new-phase-in-kosovo-recognition-battle-11-01-2017 Comment 01 Nov 17 Suriname Triggers New Phase in Kosovo Recognition Battle

The apparent decision of a Latin American state to revoke its recognition of Kosovo shows the diplomatic struggle over Serbia’s former province is far from over.

serbian-authorities-want-wide-public-debate-on-kosovo-10-30-2017 News 30 Oct 17 Serbia Promises Broader Public Debate on Kosovo

As the Serbian government’s working group tasked to coordinate ‘internal dialogue’ on Kosovo held its first meeting, its head, Marko Djuric, said it aimed to encourage a wider public debate on this still very sensitive issue.

local-elections-reveal-different-strife-in-north-kosovo-10-18-2017 feature 19 Oct 17 Local Elections Reveal Different Strife in North Kosovo

As local elections in Kosovo draw nearer, the tensions in the Serb-dominated north are very different from the ones that haunted this region in the past.