Municipality of Prilep
Municipality of Prilep
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Mineral resources

Most of the territory of the region of Prilep municipality has various deposits of ore, mostly from non-metal products. Non-metallic raw materials that are exploited or were exploited before are: Feldspar, Diatomaceous earth, Marble and Dolomite, Granite, Disten, Quartz and Perlite.

The marble sites are numerous and varied, both in terms of quality and quantity. Important site is the mine Sivec which is situated ten kilometers away from Prilep. In mine Sivec alone have been identified about 4,000,000 m3 reserves of quality marble.

Saccharoidal marble from the locality "Sivec" have been used for the creation of works of art since ancient times, starting from the first until the fifth and sixth century of our era. This is illustrated by numerous sculptures, statues and columns found in ancient sites: Stibera, Heraclea, Stobi and others.

The first geological information on marble as an integral part of the Pelagonia massif originates from F.Kosmat (year 1924), being the first one to distinguish this massif as an individual one. More detailed data regarding the marble was presented in the period between 1959 and 1961, when the marble series distinguished more marble horizons of different composition. Prilep marbles have been encompassed in the investigations of magmatic and metamorphic rocks in the greater area of Prilep, performed in 1974. After the local investigations in the 1950s the first surface excavations were commenced on the site Sivec for marble exploitation. In order to necessarily increase the exploitation, manifold geological, geophysical and mine-investigating activities were conducted, but it was in1969 that the marble mass in the Sivec mine was systematically and completely studied by “Industro Proekt” - Zagreb. Exceptionally detailed structural investigations of the Sivec marble were performed during the period between 1986 and 1988 by N. Dumurgjanov and Gj. Petrov.

The wider region mostly belongs to the Pelagonia Massif, and in small part to the Vardar zone and the following are presented there: A complex of precambrian rocks, a complex of ridejf Cambrian rocks, cretaceous Pliocene-quarternary sediments. The complex of Precambrian rocks presented in the Pelagonia Massif stand as a central part in the shape of horst-ankiklinorum and it represents a relic of the Granville-Proterozoic crust. The complex is lengthened in NNW-SSE direction and is comprised of highly metamorph and granitoid rocks. Generally speaking, the highly metamorphic complex of the Pelagonia Massif has a zonal composition and consists of two levels that are different in composition, i.e. a lower metamorphic and an upper metamorphic complex.   

The lower metamorphic complex displays two distinguished lithostratigraphic levels, i.e. gneiss zone, dominantly formed by muscovite-biothitic gneiss with almandine and rare occurrences of amphibolites shales, and an upper zone where there are vertically arrayed one by one layers of muscovite, muscovite-biothitic, porphyryblastic and other gneiss with traces of mica schists, amphibolites, amphibolitic schists and quartzites.

The upper metamorphic complex is composed of mixed series formed by albitic gneiss, mica schists, cipolins and marble series formed by more horizons of dolomite, dolomite-calcite and calcite marble.   

Apart from the white saccharoid marble – type “Sivec” in the Prilep wider area there are also other kinds of marble, different not only in the structure but also its coloring.

  • Type “Chashka” - grey white marble, found on Pletvar, by the regional road Prilep – Gradsko.
  • Onyx is not a marble rock, although it is similar to marble in terms of chemical composition, it is genetically different from it because it is created in warm freshwater environment, where microorganisms used CaCO3  in their nutrition and likewise deposited the onyx in layers. Onyx excavation sites can be found in the Mariovo region, and they are regularly being exploited nowadays.
  • Prilep vicinity is also characterized with other kinds of marble, such as the black marble from “Debreshte” and the red marble from “Miokazi”.

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As part of the marble itself, in the mine "Sivec" one of the very rare precious stones can be found, and that is corundum (Al2O3), which by its color belongs to the group of the most appreciated and most sought after rubies. It occurs in crystalline forms and usually they intergrow to form crystal druses.

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Processed corundum gets a great commercial value and a commercial name "ruby", used in manufacturing of imitation jewelry and other ornaments.