Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

Mezica Valley, Slovenia


Mezica valley has a several hundread years of tradition in mining and processing of lead, which has resulted in significant increase of environmental pollution with lead, zinc and cadmium. The mine was closed in 1994, but they continued with lead processing (used accumulators used as raw material for new products). Excessive exposure to lead and consequently increased body intake of lead has harmful effects on human and animal health (main problem is increased concentration of cadmium and lead in children s blood). To reduce exposure and intake of lead a program of measures to improve environmental quality in Mezica valley was prepared. The program is supported by the government, which in December 2007 adopted the Ordinance on areas of greatest environmental pollution and the program of measures to improve environmental quality of in the Mezica valley. Measures are being implemented until 2022, when they hope to achieve environmental quality that allows normal healthy life for inhabitants of Mezica valley.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Mezica Valley, Slovenia
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral processing
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Zinc

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Exploitation of lead and zinc ore in the carbonate layers in Mezica area (Northern Karavanke) has over 300 years of tradition. Ore deposit was developed on the area of 64 km2, miners were excavated over 1000 km of galleries and about 19 million tons of lead and zinc ore. In 1988 a decision was made to gradually cease the exploitation because of diminishing of ore stocks, increasing exploitation expenses and very high expenses connected with water abstraction [1].

Affected Population:5000
Company names or state enterprises:Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment of Slovenia from Slovenia
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)

Conflict and Mobilization

Groups mobilizing:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..):::Official complaint letters and petitions
Forms of mobilization:Observed or Documented

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Global warming, Noise pollution, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Potential: Air pollution, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsNo Data
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution
Potential: Malnutrition, Infectious diseases, Deaths
Other Health impactsNo Data
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Other socio-economic impactsStopped


Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Development of alternatives:Environment Protection Act
Briefly explain:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area:::Compensation

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

[1] Mezica lead and zinc mine closure impact on hydrogeological conditions in upper Mezica Valley

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

ZZV Ravne na KoroŇ°kem: Sanacija svinca (Slovenian)


Other comments:Tomislav Tkalec

Meta information

Contributor:Tomislav Tkalec
Last update08/04/2014