Here is the text of the whole interview with Mr. Harlfinger:
Dear Mr. Harlfinger, "Kaolin" AD received from the government a deposit concession "Kolobar " in the municipality of Dulovo. Why exactly did your company get the concession and how did it get here?
For each mining enterprise, the provision of resources is of particular importance. Our company has researched the deposit "Kolobar" nearly 15 years ago. This means numerous drilling, laboratory analyses and the creation of a detailed geological model of the deposit. Many such studies are not successful. That is why the law provides for the one who has taken the risk and has invested hundreds of thousands of leva in search and exploration, to obtain the right of extraction and to obtain a concession.
"Kaolin" has applied to receive the concession "Kolobar " иn 2010, the decision of the Council of Ministers is finally a fact.
The municipality of Dulovo had the intention to make a joint venture with another company that promised to develop another кaolin field in the area. Why would you be a better partner to the municipality?
I do not know what the motives of the municipality of Dulovo are to make such a joint venture. As you surely know, the registration of this joint venture has been suspended by the registry agency. As far as I know, the potential partner of the municipality had no experience in the mining industry. And this poses risks.
This is not the case with our company. As part of the German group "Quartzwerke", "Kaolin " AD already belongs to the European family company with long stand tradition in the field of extraction and enrichment of industrial minerals. Currently, the "Quartzwerke"group has 35 enterprises in nine countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
"Quartzwerke"group has an exceptionally good name as a competent and reliable partner. This also applies to Bulgaria. After the acquisition of "Kaolin" AD in 2013, the first work of "Quartzwerke" was to clean up all old debts of the company. The entire profit of the company "Kaolin " AD is reinvested for the development of our factories in Bulgaria.
What can the municipality of Dulovo expect from your company? How many jobs will be found and what will be the benefits for the population?
I imagine very clearly a new plant in Dulovo, which can be built here in the next five to ten years. It all depends on the time that we will need to start a real job in the concession areas "Kolobar" and "Balbana". Securing the prerequisites for starting the work is our main task now.
The information was published that we are planning investments amounting to BGN 8 million. I will only say that the real investments that we will make, no matter what the final investment project will be, will exceed this amount. The construction of a plant, for example, costs at times more.
The investment is just one of the things. I am sure that the municipality of Dulovo will wins a lot, if here you establish an enterprise from the rank of "Kaolin"AD. The financial benefit is guaranteed.
The minimum concession fee, which we have undertaken to pay for the duration of the contract, is BGN 28 million. Half of this amount, BGN 14 million, will enter directly into the municipal budget. That's the minimum. With a good job, the funds will be more.
The mere disclosure of the deposit and the processing of the raw material will create direct and indirect jobs in the whole region. It all depends on the size of the investment and if someone tells you right now how much these jobs will be, it will not be correct. And we have to be honest, and we wouldn't allow ourselves to speculate on numbers.
What we are particularly fond of is the solid training of our prospective associates. Currently, together with the municipality of Vetovo we are developing a program for the introduction of dual training in German model. In all our companies we offer free German courses. We want our workers to be prepared and feel like working in a German company.
You have an office in Dulovo that stays closed. What will happen in it?
We created the office to announce our intention for a long-term presence in the city. It's about to work now.
Initially as a data center of Quartzwerke/Kaolin and as a desk where our investment plans will be developed. Here every citizen will be able to get information about our plans and get answers to all questions about our future work. From here we will coordinate our other projects in the municipality of Dulovo, such as courses in German, dual training, etc. Of course, all our initiatives will be aligned with the municipal leadership.
How will you dispel concerns about possible environmental problems?
"Quartzwerke" Ltd. has an impeccable reputation in terms of environmental protection. In Germany we are three-time winners of the Grand Prix for sustainable development. We are also rewarded for excellent results in the field of labor protection. Last year in the Czech Republic we received the prize "Golden Pearl " for merit in the field of social partnership. Be assured that "Kaolin " AD in Bulgaria will work on the best German standards.
What happens if the decision of the Council of Ministers is appealed?
If the decision is appealed, it will only delay the beginning of the work. I'm sorry. This will lose not only the enterprise but also the municipality of Dulovo.
Because we know that the concession procedure was carried out completely legally, we look at these lawsuits calmly. However, precious time will be missed.