In strategic plans and documents, mineral resources are recorded as a significant development potential of the municipality of Berane. However, apart from the exploitation of gravel and sand, no measures have been taken for years to put other deposits of mineral resources into the function of adequate exploitation. This refers primarily to deposits of brown coal, brick clay, lead and zinc, and technical-building stone.
The data shows that the total brown coal reserves in the Berane area are estimated at 30 million tons, while in the area of the Sjekirica mountain, the estimated deposits of lead and zinc ore are around 16 million tons. In the strategic documents, it is stated that the known and explored localities of brick clays of suitable quality for the production of brick products are located in Budimlja, Jasikovac and Polica, with an area of 30 hectares with estimated reserves of over six million cubic meters. Also, it is indicated that the canyon of the Bistrica river bed, in a length of more than 15 kilometers, has granite stone of a dark grayish-green color that can be processed as marble or granite.
It is known that, as an older business collective in this region, the Beran Brickworks successfully worked for six decades on the basis of the mentioned brick clay deposits, and that brown coal was exploited from the Petnjik pit, employing up to 600 miners, for decades. The brick factory was demolished a long time ago, the brown coal mine has been idle for the third year, and there is nothing from the exploitation of other mineral resources, which, according to experts, confirms that the state is not taking care of the valorization of the potential in the north of the country.
– All activities related to the exploitation of mineral resources took place while Berane and the entire region were part of the greater Yugoslavia. At that time, the Brick Plant and the Brown Coal Mine worked successfully, and work was also done on creating an environment for the valorization of other ore deposits. That was the period when there was the then Fund for Underdeveloped Areas, and when care was taken for balanced regional development. Since that disappeared, everything has practically been put under lock and key, because the state of Montenegro simply did not show interest in putting these potentials into the function of the development of the Beran region. That’s why we have become poor, despite such resources that represent extraordinary wealth – believes engineer Milić Joksimović, former head of certain economic collectives in Berane, recalling that once in this city, around 10,000 workers were employed in the economy.