A systematic exploration of the mineral riches of Albania has not yet been carried out: some products, certainly exploited in antiquity – especially the silver of which some mines were still open in 1600 – have not been found so far, others are little more than suspects. Currently hydrocarbons, both solid (asphalt, bitumen) and liquid (petroleum), are the products that seem destined for a greater future. The first to be exploited (from 1875) was the bituminous area of Selenica, a few hours from Valona; the concession, already made by the Turks to a French company, gave, before the war, on an area of 650 hectares, about 6000 tons per year of asphalts and bitumen, exported to Trieste, Marseille, Hamburg, etc.; now it is in the hands of the Italian company of the mines of Selenizza (established in 1918 with headquarters in Rome) which extracts about 5500 tons of it. yearly. Other bituminiferous locations – generally in the form of impregnations of the Neogenic sandstone – are reported in Malakastra, on the left of the Devoll north of Berat and also in Mal’i Çikës (in the Dolomites).
Oil areas have been reported in several parts of the sub-coastal strip and in an internal strip that extends from Scutari, in the meridian direction, towards Delvino, and again at the southern edge of the Còrizza basin; the requests for concessions from Italian, French, English and American companies date from 1922, but these were only successful starting from 1925. Up to now concessions have been made on the front line to the Italian State Railways (47,213 ha in 1925 and 116,850 ha in 1926; areas behind Valona and on the edge of Musacchia), in addition to Anglo-Persian Oil Co. (ha. 34,412 in Malakastra), to Syndicat Franco-Albanais (118,193 ha.), To Standard Oil Co. (ha. 51,000). Everywhere we are for now only in the period of the first tasting drilling.
According to itypejob, Oligocene lignites have been reported in banks of marl in the Mal’i Morovës, a massif that separates the Còrizza basin from the Devoll high; the same horizon continues on the W side of the plain of Starova and Lake Ochrida and on the two sides of the Mokrë; also the lignites of Kurvelesh at 50 km. from Tepeleni, which appear to be of excellent quality (49% coal) and are included in the flysch marls, represent perhaps the same level. More recent lignites are found at the Krabë pass, between Elbasan and Tirana, and on the eastern side of the Tirana plateau; then in the Skrapari region and in the Kolonjë basin. Deposits of real hard coal, of certainly usable thickness, have not been reported so far.
Among the metal ore deposits, one of the most notable is that of Puka in E. di Scutari (copper and secondarily arsenic, iron oxide), explored by Italian scholars and currently exploited by the Puka Mines Syndicate. Other cupriferous deposits are found at the sources of the Fan’i vogël. In this same region and particularly at the foot of the Munela, the Nowack has discovered deposits of pyrite, of great size, but located in places that up to now have been poorly accessible; in the same basin, SE. of Scutari, there are also iron ore deposits. Chromium minerals have been reported in Juban in the district of Shkodra, in the upper Devoll near the southern shore of Lake Ochrida and elsewhere; in the Còrizza basin also asbestos and copper minerals (pyrites also gold-bearing). Finally, add the gypsum deposits of the Miocene, to N. of Valona, near Kavaje and elsewhere, the kaolin clays and other clays for bricks and cement marls, and the vast salt pans (Valona, Durazzo, mouth of the Semeni, etc.). Thermal and mineral springs are also frequent: the best known are the sulphurous thermal springs of Peshkopijë, of Llixha south of Elbasan (temp. 60 °), of Banja east of Premeti, all used locally for baths.
The mineral resources of Albania are therefore apparently very varied, but in any case they must be better ascertained; for their rational exploitation, adequate means of communication, plants and machinery, skilled labor and considerable capital are necessary; all elements that up to now do not abound. Many of the recent initiatives are due to Italian companies.