MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Albanian miners blasted in chrome mine explosion

Published by MAC on 2011-10-25
Source: Reuters

Management already cited for safety violations

A fortnight ago, mineworkers at Albania's Bulqiza chrome mine gave up a three-month strike, pending talks with concessionary company ACR (owned by Austria's DCM DECOmetal) over better wages and working conditions.

At the time, head of the Albanian Trade Union Confederation, Kol Nikolla, said it had "accomplished its mission of sensibilizing authorities regarding the [miners] requests".

According to news reports (see:, 10 October 2011) Albania's Ministry of Economy had already partially-suspended ACR's mining permit for its D zone mine, "citing safety conditions for the decision".

But, last week, one worker was killed and two others critically injured just as a team was checking safety levels at the mine.

Meanwhile, Vancouver-listed copper, gold and zinc miner, Tirex Resources, claims it has "secured official support from all the host communities" in order to proceed with projects in Albania's traditional northern mining district.

Miner dies, two critical in Albania chrome mine blast


18 October 2011

Tirana - An Albanian miner died and two out of seven wounded are fighting for their lives on Tuesday after the explosion of a pocket of hydrogen at the Bulqiza chrome mine managed by Austria's DCM DECOmetal.

The Albanian Chrome Company (ACR), wholly owned by DCM DECOmetal, said a group of airing experts had gone down the mine to measure the amount of gas and prepare the ventilation pipes when they encountered the hydrogen pocket.

"After some time, when these experts were at a distance of 40 to 50 metres from the site of works, there was an explosion," ACR said.

"As a consequence, ventilation expert Naim Shyti lost his life and seven other miners were wounded," it added.

Shyti and another miner were trapped in the rubble. The other man was taken out alive by rescue teams.

The explosion comes after DCM DECOmetal and its 700 miners at Bulqiza agreed to end a strike of almost three months after DCM DECOmetal raised their wages by 20 percent.

DCM DECOmetal said the blast occurred when it started opening a new well to comply with the requirements of its concession agreement with Albania's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy.

The company said the specific reason for the explosion was not yet known, and ACR was awaiting the conclusions of a team of experts and the government agency in charge of mining standards.

Shyti is the first casualty at ACR since it took full control of the concession in 2008.

Fourteen miners have died in the last three years in the area of Bulqiza, one of the richest in chrome in the Balkans. They worked for some of the 60 companies exploiting the mines or the old stocks of chrome or else mined illegally.

(Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Will Waterman)

$25 million spent in Albania by Tirex Resources going a long way


18 October 1011

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Tirex Resources announces that it has submitted all of the required documentation to apply for mining permits in the areas known as Central Gurthi & North Gurthi (Koshaj), South Gurthi & Letitna, Tuc, Qaf Bari, Fushe Arres and Paluca via license application numbers LC-9821-08-2011, LC-9819-08-2011, LC-9822-08-2011, LC-9820-08-2011, LC-9817-08-2011 and LC-9818-08-2011.

These areas of the Mirdita District have been the subject of substantial investment by Tirex during the past four years and held by Tirex within Tirex's exploration land package (Exploration Concession 1013). To date, Tirex has spent a total of approximately $25 million on the company's Mirdita VMS Project.

Tirex has now applied to transition the six specific areas into production based on successful work that variously consisted of drilling, database compilation, airborne geophysics, ground geophysics, geochemistry and geological mapping.

Tirex has submitted comprehensive documentation with respect to the environment and the community to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and mining plans to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy. Tirex's applications have received official support from all the host communities where the mining permit applications are located.

Tirex's mining plans, as presented to the government, would create substantial long term employment, infrastructure growth and community benefits in an area of Albania in need of investment and economic activity. During exploration in these areas, Tirex established a strong local presence that has resulted in a level of employment and economic activity that is expected to grow further during prospective mining operations.

Further details on Tirex Resources Ltd. and the Mirdita Project can be found on the Tirex website at


Bryan J.R. Slusarchuk, Chief Executive Officer

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