25 June 2019, Sofia, Bulgaria
MINEX Europe 2019 press release


The 4th MINEX Europe Mining and Exploration Forum started today in Sofia

The Forum is organised by Advantix Ltd. with the support from SRK Consulting (UK), ERM, Geotechmin, Ellatzite-Med, The Department for International Trade, Dundee Precious Metals and Bulgaria Alpha (Mundoro Capital).

This year MINEX Europe Forum is organised with a view of enhancing global awareness of potential discoveries of world class metal deposits in the Western Tethyan Metallogenic Belt. While the region’s mining potential has yet to be determined, there is a significant number of mines that could be financially viable with the new methods. With the emergence of smart technologies, economic development of smaller mines is also becoming a reality.

Event Summary

Over 200 delegates from 130 companies and 26 countries registered for the Forum.

20 mining, consulting and technology companies from the Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Finland, Germany, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovak Republic, The Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA will demonstrate projects at the trade show organised alongside the Forum on 25 and 26 June.

During the two days and 10 sessions of the Forum, over 50 experts will share practical knowledge of developing sustainable, efficient and responsible mining in Europe and globally. Speakers from Dundee Precious Metals, Geotechmin, Ellatzite-Med, Mundoro Capital, Lazarus Mining and Euro Lithium will speak about developing the Tethyan Belt mineral potential. Delegates will hear about exiting cases of transforming derelict mine sites into state-of-the-art mining operations. International mining financiers and will present their views on opportunities of financing exploration and mining projects in Europe.

Business drinks organised on 25 June by the British Embassy and the Department for International Department at Sofia History Museum will offer networking opportunities and will also showcase Bulgaria’s 5,000 years rich history.

The Forum will conclude on 26 June with the Gala dinner at the picturesque “Vodenitzata” restaurant located on the mount hill near Sofia, where delegates will experience the world-famous Bulgarian hospitality, Balkan dishes and folk culture.

On 27 June 40 international delegates of the Forum will visit the state-of-the art copper mining complexes operated by Geotechmin and Assarel-Medet.

The Forum materials will be available from 15 July

MINEX Europe 2019 – Key Facts and Figures

Represented Industries

Main Delegations

Senior Delegates

About MINEX Europe Forum

MINEX Europe Forum has been organised since 2015 and is one of the most prestigious and best-regarded mining events in the region.  Held every year in a different country, MINEX Europe Forum highlights developments, projects and business opportunities in the mining industry of the host-region and wider Europe and offers an information dissemination and international peer-to-peer knowledge exchange platform.

MINEX Forum website www.minexforum.com 

Bulgarian Mining Industry overview

As one of the newest members of the European Union and 15th largest countries in Europe, the potential for economic growth and possibilities for doing business in Bulgaria are endless. Mining is of great importance for the Bulgarian economy and is among the fastest developing sectors in the recent years.


“Bulgaria is a mining country” (Euromines) – the third largest European producer in gold and copper. Development of Bulgaria’s Industry and Energy sectors is based on local Mining. Mining represents 4-5% of GDP and supports 40% of electricity generation. Bulgaria is one of the top 30 global coal producing countries. Metallic resources represent 25% of output, of which copper is 98%, lead/zinc 2%.  Mining provides direct employment to approximately 30,000 people, and through related industries – to about 120,000. Mining is also the sector where Bulgaria is closest to the EU levels of labour productivity. More than 300 companies are active in the sector, working in areas of exploration, extraction and processing and all related to these services. Many of them have adopted good practices for their businesses.

Mining prospects and challenges in the Balkans and wider Europe

MINEX Europe annual Forum series have been incepted in 2015 to create awareness of mining opportunities across the European continent. The Forum helps to connect mining professionals, investors, academics, NGOs and politicians with a view of stimulating practical discussions centred on sustainability, safety and efficiency of Mining.

A new industrial revolution is brewing in Europe which has recently committed to accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Mining industry is expected to play a central role in redeveloping the continent’s main industries, while also embracing an entirely new approach to resources extraction, centred on people and green technologies. The automotive sector will need greater supplies of lithium, nickel, copper and rare earths as carmakers move away from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. Increasing demand for cheaper and cleaner energy in the foreseeable future will rely on nuclear power generation and construction of metals-intensive power distribution and accumulation infrastructure. Growing urbanisation requires more metals and industrial materials. Technologies which convert renewable energies like wind, solar and geothermal energy into a useable and transferable form such as electricity, require significant amount of minerals.

If Europe wants to maintain its sovereignty and ensure economic growth, then it will have to ensure a continued supply of mineral raw materials by developing mining operations closer to home. Some European states are already approving exploration plans and allowing companies to reopen idled mines. Other countries move in the opposite direction by discouraging investors and revoking mining concessions. Social license to operate remains the number one risk factor in many European countries.

“Not in my back yard” mentality presents the greatest challenge to companies developing mines in Europe and dangerously undermines the core foundation of future economic growth in the Balkans Region and wider Europe.

When defining economic priorities, governments should not ignore the fact that welfare and economic prosperity are determined by consumption of raw materials. The richer the country, the more metals and materials it needs for building roads, houses, schools, hospitals, electrics cars or mobile phones. If the Balkans States want to secure long-term economic independence and prosperity, development of mining industry should be given a central role in the government policies.

Forum Takeaways

  • Green economy is impossible without mining!
  • The lack of mineral processing and refining capacity in Europe is a major constraint with political, economic, social and environmental risks.
  • Bulgaria and the countries of the Western Tethyan Metallogenic Belt have the potential for discovery of multiple world class deposits.
  • There are a significant number of closed mines that could be financially viable with the new technology.
  • With the emergence of smart mobile mining, economic development of smaller mines in Europe is also becoming a reality.
  • License to operate is considered the top business risk in Bulgarian mining sector.
  • Public authorities are too weak or scared to openly support mining due to high anti-mining sentiment at the local communities

Transition to the 0% carbon economy in Europe is impossible with the development of sustainable mining close