The future of mining in the Adria region: current status, SWOT and Gap analysis of the mineral sector

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Sibila Borojević Šoštarić
Stavroula Giannakopoulou
Katerina Adam
Marta Mileusnić


The Adria region which includes the countries of: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, and corresponds to the Dinarides, northwesternmost Hellenides, and the Vardar zone, has a long history of mining. Here, the main strengths and challenges of the mineral sector of the Adria region were assessed using the following methodology: (1) presentation of the current status of mineral exploration and exploitation, (2) SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on parameters including geological potential, economic environment, legal and regulatory framework, innovation and technology framework, environmental protection and land use planning, governmental and social potential, human resources and educational potential, (3) Gap analysis, and (4) integration of the results obtained in the  development of a roadmap for the actions required to promote investments in the mineral sector in the Adria region. The main strengths of the regional mineral sector include the significant mineral potential due to a favourable geological setting, significant reserves, a long mining tradition, and active exploration areas, as well as a significant number of active and abundant mines and the availability of secondary raw materials.  Nevertheless, there are many challenges that the mineral sector faces, such as difficulties in ensuring social acceptance, a lack of new exploration campaigns in many areas, estimation of resources or reserves that do not follow international codes and standards, regulations related to environmental issues in the mineral sector of Adria countries that do not comply with European legislation, and the limited availability of qualified technical, scientific and managerial personnel involved in the whole mineral cycle. Therefore, actions and measures such as awareness campaigns to highlight the significance of Raw Materials in the sustainable development of the region, further exploration, reserves calculation in alignment with internationally recognized codes,  harmonization with spatial plans, and reforms to attract investors and capacity building programs should be taken for further development of the Adria region’s mineral sector in a sustainable manner. 


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