26 October 2023

Interview: Enes Kurdić, junior exploration geologist at Lykos Balkan Metals

Enes Kurdić, junior exploration geologist on geology, experiences that shaped his career, and about working in our company.


Can you tell us something about your education and your beginnings in the field of geology? What specific areas of geology did you focus on during your studies and career? What motivated you to choose a career in geological exploration?


After completing high school education in my hometown Tešanj, I decided to continue my education in the field of geology. Hence, I enrolled undergraduate studies in Tuzla, and after finishing the 2nd year, I continued my studies in Ljubljana, where I graduated. The time spent in the laboratory and in the field enabled me to apply the knowledge gained during my studies.

The study of geology offers a wide range of possibilities in terms of each student’s narrower field of interest, which opens up the opportunity for everyone to decide to go in the direction of what interests them the most. During my studies, my attention was mostly drawn to two closely related geological disciplines: exploration and processing of mineral raw materials.

The opportunity to visit unknown regions and learn about their geological history with the aim of discovering hidden riches with the help of the most modern exploration methods was not only an excellent motivation but also the realization of my dreams.


How do you see your career in the future? Do you have any particular ambitions or goals? Can you share any interesting or challenging experiences that shaped your career?


I see my career in the future as a career filled with many interesting projects that will lead me to interesting inventions that will positively affect the society around me and the world as a whole. Based on the fact that the best geologist is the one who has seen the most, I hope that I will have the opportunity to see many more interesting things that will enrich my knowledge. My ambition is to contribute to the popularization of geological explorations in BiH, which would motivate other students to decide to follow the same path.


As the most interesting experience so far, I would like to point out the opportunity to visit and work in the Ivory Coast as part of the fieldwork for the preparation of my master’s thesis. That experience significantly influenced my perception of the importance of geological explorations and the extent to which such activities can have a positive impact on all those who are directly or indirectly involved in them.


What are the key skills and knowledge that you believe are essential for success in the field of geology?

As the most important characteristics that are necessary for success in the field of geology, I would single out the ability to work in a team and to cooperate with experts from other fields, as well as the ability to properly organize goals according to priorities and efficiently perform set tasks. Theoretical knowledge of the problem is certainly a prerequisite and indispensable factor for all of this.


Can you describe your current role and responsibilities at Lykos? What is the most valuable thing you gained from working at Lykos in terms of professional and personal development?


I am employed as a junior geologist in Lykos Balkan Metals. In my previous engagement, I had the opportunity to work on almost all projects that the company has been carrying out since its foundation until today. My main task is to carry out geological works in accordance with the approved project of detailed geological exploration. Geological works include reconnaissance and geological mapping of the terrain, sampling of different types of materials, mapping of the well core and monitoring of the remaining geological activities.


The most valuable thing I have gained during my work in the company is getting to know and applying a large number of the most modern methods that are used during the execution of detailed geological exploration. As another very important thing, I would mention organized teamwork and interdisciplinary cooperation, which enable tasks that are at first glance very complex to be completed quickly and efficiently.


How do you stay up to date with the latest developments and research in the field of geology? Are there any recent discoveries or trends that have piqued your interest?


I stay up to date with the greatest achievements and research in the field of geology through regular information about scientific achievements that are published in the most reputable journals. This is also helped by occasional participation in lectures, seminars and congresses. As the most recent example, I would highlight the 3rd Congress of Geologists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where the most significant results of scientific research that have been achieved in the last 4 years in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding countries were presented. What particularly picked my interest in the last period are the researches carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, which relate to the development of an economically acceptable model for the extraction of certain metals from red mud, which is produced as a tailings product during the production of alumina.


What is your attitude towards insinuations that geological explorations harms the environment, and other insinuations that damage the reputation of the profession?


We live in a time when social networks are used as an effective tool for spreading lies and misinformation. Opponents of geological explorations are guided by the well-tried recipe that a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth in one moment. In all of this, they see the possibility of free promotion in various media and gaining popularity, so they stop at nothing in order to do so. On this path, as a roadmap, they use Wikipedia as the main source of information, so their main argument is that they don’t want waste water that will be created as a result of ‘safe’ exploitation, and at the same time they equate exploration and mining without any hesitation. It should be noted that at the same time they forget the numerous garbage dumps in nature but ignore them because they themselves contribute to their existence. In their intentions to completely make no sense of geological explorations, they go a step further and claim that everything that is underground is for them „carcinogenic“. To make the irony even greater, all the metals they label as carcinogenic are found in cell phones and computers that allow them to use social networks.

As the main reason for opposition to all types of geological explorations, they often highlight the unused tourist potential, which they do not want to jeopardize in any way. Protecting the potential that only they see and which for decades have not shown any positive developments, they refuse geological exploration that would bring immediate benefit to their local community, and in the case of proving economically significant mineral reserves and the possibility to give consent and open the so-called ‘green mine’ will permanently stop the brain drain. In the hope that one day they will realize the perniciousness of their actions, it remains for us to fight against it with the only possible means, which is to respect all legal norms and the highest world standards.

A company that is listed on the Australian stock exchange has no other option than to consistently respect the highest global standards in the field of geological explorations and thus environmental protection standards.


Finally, what motivates and excites you the most in the geological exploration industry and how do you see it developing in BiH in the years to come?

With the global increase of the population, the need for almost all mineral raw materials, especially those labeled as ‘critical’, grows. All of this inevitably leads to the need to discover new deposits of mineral raw materials, which is not possible without conducting detailed geological explorations. It is certain that for some time the greatest focus will remain on places where exploitation has already been carried out and which still have the potential to discover new reserves. Modern exploration methods, which significantly facilitate the search for new reserves, play an important role in the discovery of new deposits of mineral raw materials. Given the above and the fact that mining in Bosnia and Herzegovina dates back to the period of the ancient Celts and Illyrians, as well as the multitude of old mines that have ceased to be exploited for various reasons, it is not difficult to assume that geological exploration will play an important role in the economic development of the country in the decades to come.

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