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Mines Copper

Five mines for the excavation of copper-bearing ores operate in the area of Kalavasos. These mines are known with the names "Platies", "Petra", "Mavri Sykia", "Lantaria", and "Mavridia", all of them belonging to the Greek Mining Company (GMC).

The mining area of Kalavasos covers a range of 18 square kilometres, the centre of which is located north of the Kalavasos village, about 10 kilometres from the Vasiliko beach and around 13 kilometres from the ancient city of Amathous. The ore from the Kalavasos mines was transferred via railway to the harbour of Vasiliko. Processing took place in the factory that existed there and then -through a system of overhead loading -it was loaded onto ships to be exported.

The piles of rust and other mining leftovers found in the Kalavasos region provide proofs of note-worthy mining activity during ancient times, attributed to the Phoenicians and -later on -to the Romans.

In more recent years, the Kalavasos area begun drawing the attention of mining corporations since 1927, when the Pyrite Mining Company conducted researches in the area. The research brought some none-copper-bearing pyrite deposits to light, which however were not commercially exploitable. So, the relevant mining license was suspended in 1932.

The research of the Kalavasos area started again more systematically in 1935 by the Greek Company of Chemical Products and Fertilizers. The results of the research were very encouraging and the region evolved into a great mining centre. The Greek Mining Company, the stakes of which were transferred to the Greek-Cypriot community with the independence of Cyprus in 1960, assumed the mining activities of the GCCPF in 1948.

The basic raw material for the making of cement is produced in the Limestone Quarry of the Vasiliko Cement Industries. The Limestone Quarry operates since the very first years of the Cement Industry's establishment, in an area west of Kalavasos.

The aggregate volume of reserves in the deposits of the Kalavasos's area were calculated by professor L. Mousoulos to be approximately 8.5 million tones. The ore production in the Kalavasos region started in 1937 and ended in 1978. A total of 5.5 million tones of ore were mined in the region during that period, while the export of ore by the mines of Kalavasos during the same period surpass 3 million tones.

Platies Mine:

Located about 3 kilometres west of the Asgata village. The large accumulations of rust in the region prove the intense mining activity that occurred during ancient times. The deposit had a volume of about 250.000 tones and its content in copper was 1% and 30% in sulphur. The modern mining activities started in 1955. After a five-year recess (1959-1963) the activities continued until 1965, when they were terminated definitely. A total of 45,000 tones of ore were dug out of the mine.

Petra Mine:

Located about 2.5 kilometres east of the Platies mine. The deposit had a volume of about 500.000 tones with an average content of 1.5% in copper and 40% in sulphur. Mining activity started in 1953 -at a depth of about 50 meters -and ended in 1966. A total of 290,000 tones of ore were dug out of the Petra mine

Mavri Sykia Mine:

Located almost 1 kilometre north of the Platies mine. In this mine there was intense mining activity during ancient times. The deposit had a volume of 1.5 million tones with an average content of 1% in copper and 30% in sulphur. Modern ore production started in 1954 and continued until 1976 with intermediary recesses in 1965-1969 and in 1972-1975. A total of 437,000 tones of ore were dug out of the mine.

Lantaria Mine:

Located 250 meters from the Mavri Sykia mine. Little mining activity must have taken place in this mine during ancient times. Its deposit had a volume of 500,000 tones with an average content of 0.5% copper and 30% in sulphur. Its modern mining activities started in 1961 and ended in 1964. 65,000 tones of ore were dug out of the mine.

Mavridia Mine:

It is located between the Petra and Platies mines and it is the first mine in the Kalavasos region in which modern mining activities begun in 1937. It is the largest in terms of reserves and production of copper-bearing ore. The Mavridia mine includes six deposits with an aggregate volume of 5,750,000 tones. The Mousoulou deposit is the largest of them with a volume of 2,500,000 tones and with an average content of 2% in copper and 40% in sulphur. This deposit was discovered in 1946 and was name "the Mousoulou deposit" in honour of professor L. Mousoulou who substantially contributed to its discovery by GMC.
Since the beginning of the mining activities in the Mavridia region in 1937 and up to the termination of production in 1978, a total of 3.2 million tones of ore were produced. At the same period, the export of ore from the Mavridia region's deposits amounted to approximately 2 million tones.

The mines of Kalavasos provided employment to the rural population of the neighbouring villages and offered a great sum to the economy of Cyprus through the import of foreign currency. The operations of the mines were essential for the economy of the island.

Today the mines remain shut and abandoned. The Community Council of Kalavasos has scheduled the maintenance of the entrance of the Mousoulou mine so that the visitors will observe the mining process of the ore as it was done in older times.

Source: http://www.kalavasos.org/en/minings-len/

 


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