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Albania miners’ underground hunger strike enters day three

Balkan Insight reports that thirty miners have fasted for the last three days in a gallery 1,400m below the surface and 260m below sea level inside the chromium mine in the town Bulqiza, Albania.

The hunger strike is an escalation of a three-week shutdown, as roughly 700 miners press Albanian Chrome, the largest employer in the country, to meet their requests of a 20% wage hike. The Bulqiza chromium deposit has been continuously mined since 1948. The Balkan state has the lowest GDP per capita in Europe.

Balkan Insight reports Bulqiza sits on one of the largest chromite deposits in the world. The mines, located only a few hundred metres from the town, have yielded about 18 million tons of high-grade chromium since they first opened in 1948. This important mineral is used to produce steel, aluminium alloys and other products.