Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia form an important part of the west Balkan region. Gold mining in these regions has a long history that dates back to the times of the ancient Roman Empire. In the ancient times alluvial gold was mined along rivers and streams in the lands that makes modern day Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. In most cases these early gold mining was only done on small scale by artisan gold miners who worked for the ruling class.
Although gold mining in this region can be traced to the fifth century, gold only became more defined with commercial investments in the region starting in the 1930s. Gold mining was in top gear through the 1980s but the political strive that lasted throughout the 1990s put a break to all this. With the break of Yugoslavia, each individual country is now trying to rebuild its own mining sector.
Gold Mining in Bosnia
Bosnia has a long history of gold mining although most of this was done by small scale miners mostly along streams and rivers. In an effort to boost its gold production, the government of Bosnia through its ministry of economy is exploring central Bosnia Canton region for gold deposits. Already there are reports of gold deposits in two municipalities the Bakovići in municipality Fojnica and the Mačkare – Mračaj in municipality Uskoplje which requires further studies to establish the quantity of the gold resources within the deposits. To do this the government awarded exploration and exploitation license for the Mačkare – Mračaj area in Uskoplje to the ‘Glanz Investment’ company from Sarajevo. In Bakovići the exploration activities center on around old gold mine that was closed down during the Second World War. BBM mining was awarded the concession to explore and exploit gold in this municipality.
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Gold Mining in Croatia
Croatia is most known for its oil and natural gas but it has reported several gold deposits although no commercial gold mining is done in the country. Like most former Yugoslavia countries, its mining sector suffered greatly in the 1990s during the civil strife the preceded the collapse of Yugoslavia. With the return to stability the government of Croatia is working on growing its mining sector. So far several exploration activities are underway throughout the country with expectations of big gold finds to be announced soon.
Gold deposits have been reported around the Mursko Središće area, along waters ways around the village of Križovec. Significant gold deposits have also been found along the Drava and Mura Rivers. In fact gold prospecting is common along the Drava River especially around the Donji Vidovec.
Gold Mining in Slovenia
Slovenia is another important mining country in the Balkan region. Unlike some of its neighbors the country does not have any commercial gold mining but is a gold panning destination for many tourists. It is easy to find alluvial gold in some of its rivers but currently no major gold deposits that can warrant commercial mining has been found.
To help boost is mining sector, Slovenia inaugurated a new mining act in 2010. This new act seeks to help develop the sector by allowing in more players so as to improve production. It hoped that the new law will encourage private sector to help in the exploration activities so as to discover more resources. So far gold has been reported in several places but most of these deposits have been found to only contain traces of gold that cannot sustain commercial mining. The government is also conducting geological surveys to identify the existence of gold in the country.
Next: Gold Mining in Albania, Macedonia, & Kosovo