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Cyprus Mining and Quarrying

The mining history of Cyprus is very rich because of the copper metal production, which dates back to 2.500 BC. Unfortunately the mining industry has been on the decline (practically non - existent) for the last three decades. The only mining activity is the Skouriotissa Copper Mines where by the application of the leaching - SX - EW method the production of high purity copper cathodes (99,999%) are succeeded.

There is extensive quarrying of rocks and industrial minerals in Cyprus. There are about 220 quarries producing various materials for local use (havara, sand and gravel, aggregates from diabase and limestone, building stone, limestone, clay, gypsum and for export building stone, gypsum, bentonite, umber and ochre). There is also local production and exports of quick and hydrated lime, portland and other types of cement and gypsum plasters.

Concerning the prospecting of metals a great interest is shown for copper and precious metals, especially gold. There is also great interest from foreign companies for the prospecting of gypsum. Concerning the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, the EU Directive 94/22/EC concerning the way and the conditions of the licensing of hydrocarbons has been recently adopted. Every two years the big mining and quarrying operations have the obligation to submit a renewed environmental study to the Mines Service, taking into consideration the new conditions of the exploitation area.

A great concern is shown for the inspection of the working conditions (health and safety) in mines and quarries and related installations. The effort is to eliminate accidents and occupational diseases. The Pneumoconiosis Medical Board examines the people working in mining and quarrying every two years. Recently in the relevant safety and health legislation, the EU Directives concerning the safety and health in the extractive industry have been adopted. Construction products produced from quarry operations are checked to follow the relevant standards. The EU Directives concerning this matter have been adopted.

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