< < < Date > > > | < < < Thread > > >

Kosovo mining wealth

The New York Times, for example, has carried dozens of such
articles by Chris Hedges in the last six months.  Only once, on
July 8, did Hedges write about the real wealth of Kosovo^ืthe
Stari Trg mining complex.  It was a tip-off that something more
was at stake in this war.

Hedges' visit to the Stari Trg mining complex is an eye opener.
He describes the glittering veins of lead, zinc, cadmium, gold
and silver in Stari Trg. According to Hedges, "The sprawling
state-owned Trepca mining complex, the most valuable piece of
real estate in the Balkans, is worth at least $5 billion."
According to the mine's director, Novak Bjelic, "The war in
Kosovo is about the mines, nothing else.  This is Serbia's
Kuwait^ืthe heart of Kosovo.

In addition to all this, Kosovo has 17 billion tons of coal

 The wealth of Kosovo is greater
than the rich veins of ore in the mines. Hedges describes the
mining complex: "The Stari Trg mine, with its warehouses, is
ringed with smelting plants, 17 metal treatment sites, freight
yards, railroad lines, a power plant and the country's largest
battery plant."               

 The Yugoslav web site www.yugo
slavia.com describes Trepca as the "richest lead and zinc mines
in Europe." Lignite deposits in the Kosovo mines are, according
to experts, sufficient for the next 13 centuries.  The capacity
of the lead and zinc refineries ranks third in the world.

Miners work round the clock, day and night, in six-hour shifts.
According to the mine director, "In the last three years we have
mined 2,538,124 tons of lead and zinc crude ore and produced
286,502 tons of lead and zinc and 139,789 tons of pure lead,
zinc, cadmium, silver and gold." Although the average person
watching the news in the evening has never heard of Stari Trg, it
has been a prize changing hands for two thousand years. The
wealth of Stari Trg is legendary.  Precious metals were mined
there more than 2,000 years ago, first by the Greeks, then by the

These mines were the grand prize in the Nazi occupation of the
Balkans after Germany grabbed control from the British.  The
mines have great industrial and military importance.  The Nazis
used batteries produced there to power their U-boats.  Today
submarine batteries are still made there. Profits from these
mines are helping to keep the Yugoslav Federation afloat.

< < < Date > > > | < < < Thread > > > | Home