Albania will invite bids for 151 mining licenses this year and plans to allocate 20 of them in weekly competitions, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Mining said on Thursday.

Announcing it had prepared a new package of laws on mining to reform the sector, the ministry said it had already published the details of 36 mining areas on offer.

Albania is rich in chrome, copper, iron and nickel.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy will organize this year the competition procedures for 151 mining areas and 20 mining objects and mining stocks of the former state-owned enterprises, the ministry said.

Competition procedures are expected to be held each week for 20 zones. Currently, 36 zones have been published. The rest will be published in the coming days, the ministry said.

The details of the mining areas will be published in the ministry's website and the website of the Albanian Public Procurement Agency, it added.

The allocation of mining rights comes after Economy, Trade and Energy Minister Nasip Naco revoked the licenses of 43 mining companies and the government, faced with lower revenues, announced its last wave of major privatization of state assets.

Austria's DCM Decometal and Canada's Empire Mining mine chrome while Canada's Tirex Resources is conducting drilling for copper and gold.