Baseline study on chromite in 2009 (ALB-2009a) reported 700 miners employed by approx 50 formal ASM/SSM chromite companies in Batra-Bulquiza. According to EITI 2020 the number of number of medium, small-scale mining and quarry companies is increasing. Deducting from EITI data, roughly 400 operative ASM/SSM licenses appear to exist. With the factor of 10+ miners per mine as per the 2009 study, this suggests approx. 5,000 formal ASM/SSM miners in all commodities. Additionally, according to media articles (see below), informal mining takes place in abandoned shafts, and women and children often work as mineral collectors on mine waste dumps. In case of chromite selling to informal aggregators (“pirates”). These considerations lead to an estimation of an overall formal and informal ASM/SSM population for all commodities of → 6,000
Min/max: as above numbers are deducted and extrapolated, certainty is estimated as +/-30%: → 4,000 - 8,000
Female participation: in chromite: collecting at mine waste dumps and sorting; unknown for other commodities. Estimation → → 1,000
Gold: no evidence: → none

2023: existing

Source: own observation

2020: 400+ operating ASM/SSM licenses

EITI: As a traditional mining country, Albania has an increasing number of medium, small-scale mining and quarry companies, and only a few large-scale industrial mining companies. In December 2018, AKBN reported approximately 600 mining licenses, out of which 165 licenses were reported as passive and not operating.

2011: informal sector exists

BalkanInsight: :

Abandoned mine shafts are often explored illegally in Albania to salvage chromium ore.
... the head of Albania’s Federation of Trade Unions, told Balkan Insight in a recent interview that many local companies operate abandoned mine shafts illegally, while the authorities close their eyes toward their activities.

2009: 700 in chromite


Chapter 2: ... exploitation by small scale mining operations active in the chromium sector is taking place ...
In the Batra Bulqiza zone ... 56 private subjects (companies) out of 97 subjects (companies), holders of prospecting, discovery and exploitation permits, are involved in underground mining. These companies altogether register around 1,300 employees (workers, technicians, engineers, administrators and owners) of which 600 are employed with the ACR at the Bulqiza Mine, and around 700 others with the private small-scale operations.
Chapter 2.3: Over the recent years, prolonged low market prices for metals, including chromium, nickel, and copper, have caused the chromite ore and iron-nickel ore production to fall off, and between 2005 and 2008, the considerable increase in the prices led to a considerable increase in the production of these mineral ores in Albania.
ReferenceYearCitationArchived CopyLink
ALB-2009a2009World Bank (2009): Governance Partnership Facility-funded Study on Small Scale Mining-SSM- in Albania: Improving Transparency, Accountability and Development Impacts. Chromite Ores in the Zone…
ASM DATA - Country Database Record
Country CodeALB
ASM StatusExisting (data assessed)
Country Count1
Data year2009
Publ. year2023
ASM Miners6,000
- gold0
Data curation extrapolated
Inc. DevMinyes
- min.4,000
- max.8,000
- female1 ,000
ASM Commoditieschromite, marble, construction materials
  • country/albania.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/08/31
  • by Felix Hruschka