Over 400 employees have gone on strike inside the Trepca mine in Kosovo demanding the government takes over the administration of the Yugoslav-era giant complex to stop it from liquidation.

Trepca spokesman Musa Mustafa said Wednesday the workers want the government in charge of the complex, which is rich in lead, zinc, silver and gold.

Trepca's riches are considered government property, but the mine is administered by the Kosovo Property Agency, an independent body set up to run similar enterprises created when Kosovo was part of socialist Yugoslavia.

On Tuesday Kosovo's assembly amended a law on public enterprises which enabled it to delayed resolving the issue for another 18 months.

Serbia, that rejects Kosovo's 2008 secession, says no action can be taken without Belgrade's consent.