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Well, this [pdf] seems to have something to do with it.

By the early 1930s and until 2000, mineral deposits in the region were well-defined. Commercial resources of major base metals included those of aluminum, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Such precious metals as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum were found mainly in association with such base metals as copper, lead, and zinc. Industrial minerals were represented by a broad range of carbonate and silicate rocks, gravels, and sands as well as by clays and volcanic materials. Mineral fuels comprised coal (lignite), natural gas, and petroleum.

Until the early 1990s, the mining, processing, and downstream exploitation of base metals established the region as a major European source of copper, lead, and zinc and a major world producer of chromite. The transition of the region from central economic planning to market economy systems between 1991 and 2001 also began a swift deconstruction of existing political and social structures. The ensuing political, social, and ethnic tensions and conflict destroyed or degraded much of the region's mineral industries and industrial infrastructure. In 2001, social and political tensions in the region centered in the Province of Kosovo in Serbia and Montenegro and in Macedonia.

Not all oppressed peoples have this kind of leverage.

by Loefing on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 04:50:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The volumes are insignificant.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope you're right.
by Loefing on Wed Dec 19th, 2007 at 05:49:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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