Geographical characteristics

Bregalnica River Basin District is located in the eastern part of the Republic of Macedonia to the left of Vardar River. To the North-East the river basin district borders Bulgaria. It is situated between 42°9’25” and 41°27’20” N Longitude and 21°48’30” and 23°01’50” E Latitude. The distance between the northernmost and southernmost point of the river basin is 78 km, whereas the distance between the easternmost and westernmost point is 102.5 km. The river basin covers an area of 4300 km² equalling 16.72 % of the country.
Bregalnica River Basin District covers the following municipalities: Berovo, Vinica, Delchevo, Zrnovci, Karbinci, Kochani, Makedonska Kamenica, Pehchevo, Probishtip, Cheshinovo-Obleshevo, Shtip, Sveti Nikole, Kratovo, and Lozovo. The division according to Bregalnica River Basin District does not match the administrative boundaries of all the fourteen municipalities.

Bregalnica River Basin forms part of the Rhodope mountain massif. The current landscape has been shaped by tectonic, predominantly very old orogenic movements before and after the Pliocene. The upper part of the river basin comprises the mountains Osogovo, Plachkovica, Serta, Konechka, Maleshevo, Ograzhden, Vlaina, Obozna and Golak.

The landscape is highly diversified, mainly shaped by the main water course of Bregalnica River forming deep gorges in its upper part (i.e., Maleshevo-Pijanec, Pijanec-Kochani, Kochani-Lakavica, Lakavica-Vardar) and widely open floodplains in the lower part (i.e. Ovche Pole and Ezhovo Pole). The four main side-valleys of Bregalnica River are formed by the rivers Pijanec, Malesh, Vinica-Kochani and Kriva Lakavica. Hilly areas consisting of fluvial deposits and cones covered with alluvial soils typify large areas of the river basin.

Lead-zinc ore deposits constitute the largest and economically most important mineral deposits within the river basin which are exploited by the mines of Zletovo, Dobrevo and Makedonska Kamenica. Copper and iron-titanium deposits have been reported in the Osogovo Mountains.

Most common non-metal minerals are asbestos, kaolinite clay, granite, limestone, basalt, feldspar, opal breccia, opal tuff and bituminous schists. The Malesh micro region has large deposits of lignite of which 10,000 tons are being annually extracted through open-pit mining. The unexploited reserves of brown coal  in the Delchevo-Pehchevo Basin are estimated at 24 million tons. Other coal deposits are reported in the municipalities of Probishtip and Makedonska Kamenica.

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