Low fees mines pay for gold
Slovenská banská, which mines for gold and other precious metals near Banská Štiavnica and is owned by five managers, improved its net profit 20% to €6.7m last year, and its sales rose 13% to €16.8m. The company resumed mining in old mines in the early 1990s, almost went bust in 2001 due to low gold prices, and turned 46% of its sales into net profit in the past seven years. It employs 150 and the current ore inventory will keep it busy at least till 2030. It mines 40,000 tons of ore annually, from which it gets 400-500 kg of gold and 300 kg of silver.
All ores mined in Slovakia belong to the state, and mines pay very low fees for extracting them. Last year, Slovenská banská only paid €8,000, despite its huge profits. The opposition party SaS wants to increase the fees. All Slovak mines extracted 47m tons of ores last year. They had sales of €555m, net profit of €100m and paid the state just €2.3m in mining fees.