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Decorative Stone

The availability of one of the world's most beautiful decorative stone is one of Kosovo's hidden secrets.

Availability of Beautiful Decorative Stone

The availability of one of the world's most beautiful decorative stone is one of Kosovo's hidden secrets. Experts marvel at the fact that Kosovo has such a varied, attractive, colourful and convenient natural stone and that it can still remain such a relatively unknown resource. Kosovo’s geology is rich and varied and its evolution over time has been influenced by its location in an active tectonic zone.

That tectonic activity has seen the formation and subsequent closure of an oceanic basin leading to the development of a variety of economically exploitable mineral deposits. Kosovo has substantial reserves of onyx, red marble, white and grey marble, grey and black marble, black marble with white stripes, breccia, grey granite, gneiss, andesite, magnesite, serpentite, quartzite, trachyte and porphyry.

Kosovo has at least 24 identified quarry sites with a vast selection of decorative stones in many individual colours and with multiple combinations of colours and patterns. These have been widely acknowledged for their unique appearance and attractiveness and have been used to decorate buildings of great importance within the Balkan region and beyond. Some of these quarry sites have existing development infrastructure and therefore constitute an easy starting point. Extensive information on these quarry sites is available for potential investors.

Good Investment Opportunities in Decorative Stone

A very low level of international awareness of this resource in Kosovo has to date forestalled foreign investment in the sector. As a consequence, the decorative stone sector in Kosovo has substantial untapped potential. As an example, Kosovo has vast reserves of breccia marble. Traditionally, this marble was almost exclusively supplied by Italy but is no longer available from Kosovo due to the exhaustion of its breccia marble mines. No similar material is now available to world markets, apart from that available in Kosovo. There is therefore a substantial and immediate investment opportunity for potential investors to develop exports of breccia marble at premium prices traditionally paid by world markets for very high quality breccia marble.

As an under-exploited and heretofore under-publicized natural resource, the sector offers investors substantial potential for profitable investment. Decorative stone is easily accessible in Kosovo as many of the mining sites are in close concentration within Kosovo’s relatively compact geography. The international demand for decorative stone tiles in standard sizes presents an excellent opportunity for investors in Kosovo to manufacture these products from locally available high quality stone resources.

User-friendly Licensing Procedures for Exploration and Mining

To encourage more investment, Kosovo’s licensing procedures have been transformed to become user- friendly, transparent and expeditious as well as inexpensive – royalty payments are pitched at a very low €0.50 per tonne of extracted marble, granite or slate. These procedures are administered by an Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals (ICMM) with a pro-active, facilitating attitude to potential investors.

The ICMM encourages exploration applications and provides advice on application requirements that are generally considered relatively simple and transparent. Exploration licences are normally granted within a period of about 30 days from the date of application. As part of the process, the ICMM also provides essential facilitating procedures such as mapping and coordinates and detailed information on where particular types of decorative stone are located within Kosovo.

The exploration licence is valid for up to two years and is renewable for a further three two-year periods. Following successful exploration, an initial decorative stone Mining Licence can be granted for up to 25 years and this can be extended for a further period of a maximum 25 years. The Mining Licence application has to be accompanied by consents from the Ministry of the Environment, the local Municipality and the Kosovo Forestry Agency (if the mine is located on designated forestry land). However, the ICMM has the final word in granting the mining licence if it believes the position taken by any of these three bodies is unreasonable. Potential investors can therefore be assured that there is a unifying and overarching decision-maker in the granting of mining licences.