Bulgaria - Fourth in Gold Production in Europe

Industry | June 8, 2024, Saturday // 13:13|  views

Bulgaria ranks third in copper mining and fourth in gold mining in Europe. The prices of these precious metals have been steadily increasing on international markets in recent months. However, despite having numerous strategies for energy development, Bulgaria has not implemented any strategic projects, commented Prof. Dr. Nikolay Valkanov, honorary chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Mining and Geology. Speaking at the 6th European Mining Business Forum in Sofia, he noted, "We have a lot of raw materials that we are not developing, and those that we are developing are running out."

In Bulgaria, metallic minerals are extracted from 85,000 acres, and non-metallic industrial minerals from nearly 62,000 acres. Oil and natural gas extraction occurs on over 153,000 acres, solid fuels on 728,000 acres, construction materials on 102,000 acres, and rock-facing materials on nearly 10,000 acres.

The Acting Deputy Minister of Energy, Krasimir Nenov, emphasized the necessity of resource security for economies and competitiveness during the forum. The forum introduced the new European legal framework and a manifesto for sector development in light of the transition to neutral energy and the critical need for essential raw materials.

There are 34 raw materials deemed important, with 17 considered of strategic importance, indicating a significant future demand. Euromines CEO Roll Cubby stressed the need to enhance all stages of the supply chain and collaborate with other countries to achieve a 10% increase in the production of essential raw materials by 2030. To meet this goal, 25-30 new strategic mining projects are required, alongside sustainable mining practices in Europe.

Maria Suner, CEO of the Swedish industry association Svemin and member of the Euromines Executive Committee, suggested the appointment of a European commissioner to focus on raw material access, as reported by "Telegraph." She advocated for improvements in legislation, permits, and other regimes to enhance raw material extraction in Europe. Strategic projects should benefit both the EU and the third-country investor or resource provider. She also noted that environmental regulations should not hinder resource conservation, highlighting that over 65% of valuable materials currently depend on third countries. A target has been set for 25% of strategic raw materials to be sourced through circular economy practices, including the recycling of precious metals and raw materials.

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Tags: Bulgaria, gold, europe, mining


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