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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1972
Year 1972, Volume 3 (1972)

Michalski, Bernadette
Bulgaria,   pp. 171-177 ff. PDF (639.4 KB)

Page 176

Aluminum.—Metal and alloy requirements are met through imports principallyfrom
the U.S.S.R. However, plans are under consideration for constructing an aluminum
mill for the manufacture of sheets, bars, and profiles. Shoumen has been
selected as the preliminary construction site for the 50,000-ton-annual-capacity
plant to be in operation by 1975. 
Copper.—The Medet copper mine in central Bulgaria is the source of
an estimated 80% of the total copper output of the nation. Under development
for nearly a decade, the Medet open pit mine attained its planned capacity
of 8 million tons of ore per year in 1972. Medet ores average 0.36% copper
and 0.008% molybdenum. Copper mining operations are also conducted at Burgas,
Panagyurishte, Chelopech, and Tirnovo. About 1 million tons of ore is extracted
annually from underground mines. Bulgarian sources report copper ore bodies
mined at depths of 600 to 700 meters. Copper smelting capacity was reported
at 55,000 tons. 
Iron and Steel.—Indigenous sources supply about one-third of Bulgarian
iron and steel requirements. The remainder is supplied by imports, principally
from the Soviet Union, in the forms of iron ore, pig iron, and steel semimanufactures.
The largest of Bulgaria's two steel operations, the Kremikovtsi iron and
steel plant near Sofia, produced 1.4 million tons of pig iron, 1.6 million
tons of steel, and 1.6 million tons of rolled products in 1972. The Lenin
metallurgical works at Pernik produced 0.3 million tons of crude steel and
0.3 million tons of steel semimanufactures. Both plants were under expansion
during the year to support a crude steel production goal and a downline processing
capacity of 3 million tons by 1975. A third iteel plant is planned for 1980
bringing crude steel production to 5 million tons in that year. 
Lead and Zinc.—Lead-zinc ore extraction is entirely by underground
mining methods from ore bodies at depths of 350 to 400 meters. About 75%
of Bulgarian lead-zinc output is derived from the Gorubso mining enterprise
in South-Central Bulgaria. Lead and zinc smelting capacity is reported at
100,000 tons and 80,000 tons, respectively. Research conducted at the Kurdzali
zinc smelter resulted in the adoption of a new method of hydrometallurgical
processing of zinc waste. The process allows extraction of zinc ferrites
and simultaneous removal of compounds of iron, arsenic, and other elements.
Cement.—The cement manufacturing industry has maintained a steady growth
pattern, keeping output in line with growing consumption. In addition, limited
quantities of cement were available for export annually. Modernization and
expansion activities are scheduled for each of the nation's six major cement
plants during the sixth 5-year plan (1971—75) period. During 1972,
the 1-million-ton-annual-capacity Reka Devnya cement plant was under expansion;
capacity is scheduled to be doubled by 1975. The Bulgarian's anticipate cement
production capacity at 6 million tons annually by the close of the sixth
5-year plan. 
Fertilizer Materials.—Production of mineral fertilizers has been accelerated
with the construction and expansion of the chemical combines at Demitrovgrad,
Stara Zagora, Vratsa, and Varna. By 1975, mineral fertilizer production is
anticipated at 1.5 million tons in terms of pure nutrients, placing the nation
at the level of self-sufficiency. However, raw materials in the form of natural
gas, potash, and phosphate rock will continue to be imported. 
CoaI.—The development of mechanized, 
large-volume operations reversed the trend of declining coal output in Bulgaria.
Rotor dredges, excavators, drift mining machines, face working equipment,
and conveyor systems imported from the U.S.S.R., East Germany, and Czechoslovakia
were placed in operation at the surface mines in the Maritzalztok Basin and
at the underground operations in the Marbas Basin. An announcement made through
the Ministry of Heavy Industry anticipates coal output at 33 million tons
annually by 1975. 
Natural Gas.—Natural gas production was 
reported at 7,8 billion cubic feet in 1972. 
Production is derived principally from the 
Chiren Fields. Total estimated reserves are 
1 trillion cubic feet. 

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