Industria e nxjerrjes së mineraleve në Bulqizë

Background on environmental problems and disputes:

Chromium extraction Industry in Bulqiza

Albania is well known for chromium, nickel and copper reserves. Quantity and quality of chromium is high. Before 1990 Albania was the 3rd country in Europe for chromium reserves and now it ranks as the country with the highest level of reserves in Europe As per the National Agency of Natural Resources, at the end of 2011 there were 711 mining permits granted to local and foreign businesses out of which 622 represent exploitation permits.

At present, Albania’s coal and nickel mines are privatized, while the three largest copper mines are being operated via a 30-year concession contract. Other mines being operated under concession contracts include the chrome mines of Bulqiza, Katjel, Pojska, the copper mines of Lak Rosh and Karme and the bitumen mine of Selenica. Rural watch project is focused on the chromium mines in Bulqiza due to the several disputes arise as well as frequent reporting of human losses in these mines. There are no public data available to assess the real numbers of mines/ extraction activities, no o people working there, let alone the monitoring reports and environmental issues addressed.

The chromium industry in Bulqiza consists of the chromium extraction mines, chrome enrichment factories (Krasta, Bulqiza) and the ferrochrome production plant in Komsi of Burrel. Currently there are a large number of active mining permits in the Bulqiza area (over 100), approved by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and National Agency of Natural Resources as its subsidiary institution.

Mine extraction activity requires type B environmental permits, while ferrochrome production activity requires a type A environmental permit.

Environmental problems of the extraction and enrichment of chromium industry are: a) Impacts on topography, relief, landscape; b) Sliding and erosion; c) generation of waste, dust, noise and gases during excavation and drilling; d) most importantly, 3-valent chromium (CrIII) can be oxidized to 6-valent chromium by exposure to air in the mines. CrVI is the most durable and yet toughest form for man and the environment. Chromium 6-valent stands for a long time in surface water, groundwater and ground.

Environmental problems of ferrochrome production: a) air and dust contamination; b) production waste during the separation of ferrochrome from other elements; c) technological waters. The latter potentially are contaminated with chrome and other heavy metals.

It is noted that the following environmental and social components have not been implemented:

  • Community health and safety: frequent community meetings need to be conducted with regard to recommended safety measures, as well as to explain the Emergency Response Plan by companies
  • Ensure that all employees are familiar with the approved emergency plan
  • It is necessary to evaluate the presence of CrVI on earth and surface and groundwater.
  • Management companies are suggested to publicly disclose the assessed levels.
  • Establish a transparent grievance address mechanism to respond to public concerns.

Ndikimet në mjedis

The list below represents a list of environmental and social problems associated with the current extraction developments in Bulqiza.

Shëndeti

There are no routine health checks for the mining workers. There are lot of health problems reported by the citizens like ulcer, allergic dermatitis, lung cancer, lever necrosis, brain damage, premature death, lever and kidney problems. Nevertheless no public records do show the relationship between the reported problems with chromium pollution.

There are several death cases of the miners due to the very poor state of galleries and tunnels of the mines.

Ndotja e ajrit dhe ujit

Based on a recent study the current chromium extraction causes numerous irreversible degradation of the environment in the Bulqiza area such as the destruction of surface land layers and erosion, destruction of flora and fauna, soil and water pollution, health problems, unsustainable use and reduction of chromium reserves, etc. The inert waste that emerges after the chromium partition is discharged to the earth surface without any regularity, covering the surface of the soil and flora, leading to irreversible degradation of the environment. Most of the mining entities do not respect the contracts and environmental permit issued by the Ministry of Energy and Industry

Degradimi i tokës

Opening the new ways to reach new galleries and opening up new chromium careers has lead to the remove of the upper productive layer of soil (the main layer of physical, chemical and biological activity). As a result of surface interventions and in depth excavations for the extraction of chromium ore, soil deforestation and stripping of the soil surface has occurred, causing the phenomenon of erosion and the total soil degradation to appear massively.

Çështje sociale

No of employment on the area is very low. Incomes for employers/ family are extremely low if compared with the sibling ones in world. With the new concessions women are not allowed anymore to dig in the mining waste piles for chromium ores. Corporate responsibility concept is not embraced by the companies yet, thus lacking totally any public investments.

Peizazhi

The landscape is visually destroyed and piles of mining waste are visible from far away the city.

Industria e kromit në Bulqizë konsiston në minierat e nxjerrjes së kromit, fabrikat e pasurimit të kromit (Krastë, Bulqizë) dhe uzina e prodhimit të ferrokromit në Komsi të Burrelit. Aktualisht ka një numër të madh lejesh minerare aktive në zonën e Bulqizës (mbi 100), të miratuara nga Ministria e Energjisë dhe Infrastrukturës dhe AKBN si institucion i varësisë së saj.

Aktiviteti i nxjerrjes së mineraleve në miniera kërkon leje mjedisore të tipit B, kurse aktiviteti i prodhimit të ferrokromit nevojitet të ketë leje mjedisi të tipit A.

Problemet mjedisore të aktivitetit të nxjerrjes e pasurimit të mineralit të kromit:

  • ndikime në topografi, reliev, peisazh;
  • rrëshqitje dhe erosion;
  • gjenerim i mbetjeve, pluhurave, zhurmave dhe gazeve gjatë gërmimit dhe shpimeve;
  • më e rëndësishmja, kromi 3-valent (CrIII) mund të oksidohet në krom 6-valent nga ekspozimi në ajër në miniera. CrVI është forma më e qëndrueshme por dhe më toksike për njeriun dhe mjedisin. Kromi 6-valent qëndron për një kohë të gjatë në ujërat sipërfaqësore, nëntokësore dhe në tokë.

Probleme mjedisore të prodhimit të Ferrokromit:

  • ndotje e ajrit dhe pluhur;
  • mbetje prodhimi gjatë ndarjes së ferrokromit nga elementët e tjerë;
  • ujërat teknologjike. Këto të fundit potencialisht janë të kontaminuara me krom dhe metale të tjera të rënda.

Konstatohet se nuk janë zbatuar komponentët e mëposhtëm mjedisorë e socialë:

  • Siguria dhe shëndeti i komunitetit: nevojitet të kryhen takime të shpeshta me komunitetin në lidhje me masat e rekomanduara të sigurisë, si dhe të shpjegohet qartë plani i përgjigjes ndaj emergjencave nga kompanitë
  • Të sigurohet që të gjithë punonjësit janë të njohur me planin e emergjencës së miratuar
  • Nevojitet të vlerësohet prania e CrVI në tokë dhe ujërat sipërfaqësore e nëntokësore. Kompanitë menaxhuese sugjerohet të bëjnë publike nivelet e konstatuara.
  • Të vendoset dhe të bëhet transparent sistemi i ankesave të publikut