Bulgaria's economy ministry said that concession fees collected last year added up to 63 million levs ($42.9 million/32.2 million euro), including interest and penalty payments.
The proceeds exceeded plan by 20%, the ministry in a statement on Thursday, quoting economy minister Traicho Traikov.
The increase follows amendments in the Mineral Resources Act from July 1, which raised the amount of concession fees transferred into the local governments' budgets from 30% to 50%.
The best performing municipalities of Chelopech, Radnevo, Panagyurishte, Galabovo and Etropole received their checks with concession fees at a ceremony attended by the economy minister Traicho Traikov and his deputy Delyan Dobrev.
Since the establishment of the single authority for managing the country's underground resources in March, more than 150 permits and over 100 concessions were issued. The contractors are expected to invest over 200 million levs and to create 1,500 new jobs.