The Trepca mine, whose full name was in past Trepca Stari Trg and has now been changed to Trepca Stan Terg, is one of the most famous mineral localities in the world, but also the most valuable mining site of former Yugoslavia, that produced lead, zinc, silver and minor cadmium and bismuth. The mine underwent in the nineties of last century a rapid decline in production and suffered a forced closure due to the Kosovo war in 1999. The mine is located in the Vardar Zone of the Dinarides Alpine Belt and is related to the intrusion of Tertiary post-tectonic magmas into a sequence of Paleozoic basement and Mesozoic sedimentary cover and ophiolite nappes. The Trepca ore deposit consists of a series of manto orebodies and mineralized skarns within the sedimentary pile. The main orebodies are intercalated between thick marblized limestones at the bottom and thick schists at the top. The distribution of mineralization was controlled by a trachite and dacite volcanic chimney surrounded by an explosion breccia. Deposit formation is due to a hydrothermal plume of magmatic origin mineralizing carbonate host rocks, similar to the Kipushi model (Feraud et al., 2007). Mineralogical paragenesis of Trepca Mine is extremely rich, with more than 60 different mineral species reported. Several of these minerals form valuable aggregates of bright metallic sulphides and well grown crystals of quartz, dolomite, calcite and rhodocrosite of collector interest. Moreover tens of specific studies were devoted to particularly interesting phases such as phosphates (e.g. childrenite, crandallite and ludlamite) and sulphides (e.g. galena, bournonite and cosalite). Mining at Trepca is documented since the late Middle Ages when the most valuable metal extracted was silver. Mining continued under Turkish rule, but after 17th century declined rapidly till closure in the 19th century. Modern mining at Trepca was begun in 1930 by the British owned Trepca Mine Ltd at the site of the open pit Middle Ages mine and went on in underground. During the following 60 years Trepca Mine, together with other nearby mines, was the most important mining district of Yugoslavia and one of the largest in the world for lead-zinc production, with a total production of about 3 millions tons of lead and 2 millions tons of zinc. Decline, that had already begun in the ‘70th, accelerated under Serbian rule in the ‘90th and culminated with closure of the mine during the Kosovo war of 1998-99. The two smelters were destroyed and the mine completely flooded. Trepca Stan Terg Mine was reopened thanks to the efforts of the mine management and workers in 2005 with a production, in its first year, of 15.000 ton of lead-zinc ore. Since then production has increased each year, reaching 128.000 tons in 2010. Resources are still huge and could be enlarged by further exploration as the ore bodies have not yet been bounded. Assessed resources total about 40 millions tons at 4.02 % Pb, 3.25 % Zn and 76 g/t Ag. Future development plans comprise: new exploration in the Trepca mineralized belt, increase of production from known resources, construction of a new flotation plant, a standard procedure for control of mine production and, eventually, construction of lead and zinc foundries at Mitrovice Industrial Park. A preliminary agreement between University of Milan, University of Pristina and Mine management led to a visit of the mine in April 2011. During a short survey of the exploitation front at level XI, 640 m below surface, several samples of collector interest were taken. The preliminary agreement is being improved in order to open Trepca Mine to scientific study, comprising collection and study of mineralogical samples, geological interpretation of ore deposit and characterization of huge tailing dumps.
|Titolo:||Famous mineral localities: the re-opening of Trepca mine, Kosovo|
GRIECO, GIOVANNI (Primo)
KASTRATI, SHPETIM (Secondo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore GEO/09 - Georisorse Miner.Appl.Mineral.-Petrogr.per l'amb.e i Beni Cul|
Settore GEO/06 - Mineralogia
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|