Copper in Albania
Copper market even with its oscillation of prices its still in the range of 7200-7500 USD, and the prognosis of the copper price from the main stock exchange institution is with an increase of 3-5 % per year. Copper is the metal with the higher request as gold through the mining activities. Copper still has a high demand on the foreign market, particularly in China. In the last trade show in Toronto, the main interest of almost 90 % of the mining companies was on three metals copper, gold and nickel.
Albania has potential for all them three, in copper small-medium ore bodies, gold as accompanied mineral with copper deposits which varies from 0.3 to 4 gr/ton, in nickel silicate medium ore bodies with a percentage of nickel 0.1-1.15% Ni.
Copper is one of the main riches of Albania. It has been researched and exploited in the territory of Albania since ancient times. In the four main minerals of Albania, chromite, copper, iron-nickel and coal, the copper seizes the second important place. It has been researched and exploited in the territory of Albania since ancient times.
As beginnings of the development of copper industry in modern times is known its extraction and processing in 40s in Rubik of Mirdita (central north of Albania). Later on, this region became the most important center of copper mining and processing industry. Through an extensive program of exploration carried out in the past, new copper-bearing areas were found and were put into operation, but some of them had been ineffective. This industry is extended mainly in the East-North of Albania.
The lower acceptable copper ore grade, so-called economic grade condition, according the concepts of that period for copper ore reserves prospecting-exploration, has been 0,7% Cu, meanwhile the average grade of mined copper mineral reserves has been 1,8% Cu. After the year of 1985 the intensity of prospecting-exploration of gradually was lowered up to zero, due to the lack of investments and resulted that were not explored new mineral reserves, meanwhile the copper ore in the mines continued, lowering so up to the year 1988.
Mining methods used in the past at the copper mines are generally those of sublevel caving, as high-productivity methods, but with losses about 20 % and dilution 18 %.