Association of Metallurgy, Mining Industry and Geology of the Slovak Republic
The Association of Metallurgy, Mining Industry and Geology of the Slovak Republic
The Association of Metallurgy, Mining Industry and Geology of the Slovak Republic (ZHTPG SR) is a voluntary, open and professional association and a legal entity established for the purposes of the creation of optimum conditions for the dynamic development of employers and enterpreneurial activities in Slovakia. It protects and supports the interests of its members, including the advancement of its standpoints concerning important economic and social, legal and other questions which relate to the Association.
At present, the Association covers 56 member organisations which employ more than 40,000 employees. Companies that are Association members perform their enterpreneurial activities in the sphere of metallurgy of iron and steel, ferro-alloys, non-ferrous metals, metallurgic secondary production, ore and non-ore mining, coal industry, magnesite industry and geology of Slovakia. Besides industrial enterprises, the Association also includes research, educational, commercial, financial and social organisations, and in this way, forms a complex employers organisations.
The Association ensures a wide scope of various activities. The main aim of the organisation is to support and protect the interests of its member organisations in questions of economic and social policies, and in negotiations with the state administration authorities and trade union organisations.
The important activity of the Association is to create and improve the conditions for member enterpreneurial activities in our country and abroad, by establishing and mediating the relations in the sphere of production, trade, scientific and technical cooperation, education, information processing and the like.
ZHTPG SR considerably contributes to the creation of the economic policy of Slovakia. The Association bodies deal with the following main spheres of problems:
The Association coordinates the course of its actions and enforces its member interests within the framework of partner employers organisations in our state and abroad, including the members of the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), the Union of Industrial and Employers Confederation of Europe (UNICE) and the International Labour Organisation committees.
Development of ZHTPG SR BranchesMetallurgy
The production and technical basis of the Slovak metallurgy, originally developed for the size of the Czechoslovakian market and export, exceeds the present size of the Slovak industry by approximately 70 per cent, from the point of view of capacities and the level of the development of processing industry and building industry. The production potential is used effectively, having the annual production value on the level of 75 billion SK, high export rate (73 per cent); but it is also very dependent on the import of raw materials and fuels of mineral origin (30 per cent).
The development of economic indicators was influenced by the price liberalisation in 1991, by the reduction of production of steel pipes and ferro-alloys for the reasons of sales problems, and the modernisation of aluminium production in progress. However, from 1994 metallurgy as a whole experienced production growth.
Metallurgical production export had an increasing tendency from 1990 and showed jumps in 1991 (price liberalisation) and in 1993. In 1996 the export was higher than 42 billion SK.
During the transformation the employment in metallurgy did not show a considerable decrease. The part of free jobs was transferred from basic metallurgical production into service activities outside the given employment rate for metallurgy, but at the same time it depended on production activities and prosperity of metallurgy.
At present, the sector of metallurgy is privatised as a matter of fact.
Draft of development tendencies
In the period of 1991-1996, with regard to the results reached in production, employment and export, metallurgy acted as a factor stabilising the national economy.
In the past, the main amount of investment was aimed at the modernisation of the production of metal fluid phase (steel-making, aluminium).
Prepared investment intentions of the enterpreneurial sphere of steel-making up to the year 2005 is mainly aimed at the increase of the finishing level and extension of the production assortment, without any plans to change material volumes of production substantially.
As for decisive important programmes of development of steel-making, we can mention:
As for metallurgic secondary production, the extension of production of wire cords will be the main point. For the purposes of their development, metallurgical companies count on home financial sources as well as on foreign capital.
Coal mining industry
After 1989, the coal mining industry overcame the most difficult process of its existence. Measures concerning the dumping of Slovak coal mining were taken. At present, this sphere is stabilised and aimed exclusively at domestic consumption. The mining of circa 4 million tonnes of coal represents approximately 25 per cent of the share of solid fuel resources of the Slovak Republic. From 1993, the share of covering by own sources increased, determined by the continuous growth of domestic mining at the parallel decrease in total consumption, and in such a way that Slovak coal mining reduces the cost of importing solid fuels from foreign countries. Present home mining ensures only 40 per cent of the demand for brown coal by the internal market. But besides the reduction of a high import dependence of Slovakia on fuel and energy sources (almost 90 per cent), it also represents a considerable portion of the employment rate in regions with developed mining. The present number of employees at the coal mining resort is at more than 11,000.
As to the sphere of investments, the coal mining industry is aimed at the development of new technologies, ecological problem-solving and modernisation, whilst it will use home and foreign resources as well. The privatisation of coal mining of Slovakia is almost complete.
Magnesite industry (refractory industry) showed the reduction of production and worse economic results, especially in the period of 1993-1994. In 1995 the loss of 123.5 million SK occurred. After a temporary decrease in export to 92.5 per cent in 1992, in comparison with 1990, export was gradually increased by 2.5 times in 1995. After the recession of production and loss of traditional markets, it restores its activities and gradually increases its production and export capabilities. This improving situation is considerably influenced by both the opening of the Eastern European market, and sales in new territories. Good quality products also supports their ability to compete in demanding markets of Western European countries and in other regions. The biggest reduction in material production was recorded in 1994. In this period, magnesite mining decreased to the level of 40.3 per cent, in comparison with 1989. This decrease was caused by the desintegration of markets of the former Council for Mutual Economic Aid (COMECON), as well as by the recession of world metallurgy and surplus of refractory products in the world markets.
The magnesite industry is characterised by a gradual consolidation of production and technical grounds. It is supposed that a gradual reorganisation of the production process should result in a continual growth in production up to the year 2005. The refractory industry of the Slovak Republic is a prospective branch that significantly helps to provide employment in these regions, also representing an important source of the foreign currency for the Slovak economy. The rich scale of home resources of raw materials creates good preconditions for this process and the development of this industry using home and foreign finances is considered. In 1996 the magnesite industry export amounted to a value of more than 2 billion Sk.
As a matter of fact, the branch was privatised after being restructured.
Ore and non-ore mining
At present, only monomineral ores, ferroalloy Fe-Ba ore and rare metal ores are mined, due to the mining of many ores being stopped for the reason of the dump-down programme of ore mining. The employment in this branch was decreasing for a long time. Approximately 5,200 employees worked in this branch in 1996.
In the recent period some revival of this branch has occurred and new projects are being performed (talc, salt, polymetal ores and others). The need for investments is expected.
Geology was also considerably changed in the past 50 years, in a similar way to other branches of the national economy. Its development was negatively influenced, particularly by:
We can positively evaluate the change in preferences in geology, eg, from the sphere of its original first priority, raw-material survey, into the sphere of geoecology, regional geological survey and prognostic evaluation of sources of mineral raw materials and underground water, geological computer science and the like. One of the most important events of the organisational transformation of geology in Slovakia was the establishment of Geologicka sluzba SR in January 1996. The positive aspect of this is also a parallel legal transformation of geological law that creates a new legal frame of geology in the SR, adapted to the requirements of present geological practice and European legislation.
We have prepared our development intentions for the future, taking into account the present and planned state of separate branches as well.
As for the sphere of production of iron, steel and metallurgical production, the basic development orientation is aimed at the extension of a required assortment of high quality sheets, functional features and acceptable prices. In particular, the production of plastic - varnished sheets, packing sheets, auto body sheets and iron tyre cords. As for the production of non-iron metals, the projects for extending aluminium production in the period of 1998-2000 and intensification of copper concentrate treatment have been prepared. At the same time, there is evidently a permanent effort to decrease the specific consumption of energy per production unit, but also the effort to solve ecological problems.
In coal mining, the maintenance of domestic mining on the annual level of 4 millions tons of brown coal is being considered for the future period (by approximately 2005). We have to solve three main problems in this branch, namely investment development, ensuring long-term coal consumption, and related ecological problems.
The magnesite industry is a promising branch based on home raw material resources, which guarantees continuous development. The improvement of the product quality and the extension of the assortment, including the production of magnesium metal and products for pharmaceutical and food-stuff industries, are our strategic goals for the future period.
It is necessary to mention the development in mining and mineral salt treatment in mining, in which the increase of extraction has risen from the present amount of 100, 000 tons to 400, 000 tons annually.
Furthermore, the projects of hydro-metallurgical processing of tetraedrites, final processing of anhydrides and limestone are being prepared. If the geological survey proves there to be sufficient amounts of gold and silver ores, the construction of the factory for their processing will be considered.
For a relatively short period of its existence, the Association of Metallurgy, Mining Industry and Geology of the Slovak Republic has become a complex Association, from the point of view of employers, entrepreneurs, educationalists and professionals with an important position in the social and economic system of Slovakia. Via this entity, communication with all members of this Association is possible.