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Δευτέρα, 27 Ιουνίου 2011

USGS Mineral Yearbook: The Mineral Industry of Greece [2009]

USGS Statistical Yearbook Myb3-2009-Gr

The Government’s concern over the state of the Greek economy continued in 2009 when Greece’s budget deficit reached 12% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which was far above the European Union (EU) guideline of 3%. The country’s ratio of national debt to GDP was expected to be 135% by yearend 2009. The country’s sovereign debt credit default swaps (CDS), which are the financial instruments that measure the price of protection against default, stood at 202 basis points, which was among the highest in the Eurozone.

The Government was continuing efforts to reform the economy and reduce its CDS basis points and public spending. The budget crisis affected all sectors of the economy, including the mineral resources sector (Moya, 2009).economy continued in 2009 when Greece’s budget deficit reached 12% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which was far above the European Union (EU) guideline of 3%. The country’s ratio of national debt to GDP was expected to be 135% by yearend 2009. The country’s sovereign debt credit default swaps (CDS), which are the financial instruments that measure the price of protection against default, stood at 202 basis points, which was among the highest in the Eurozone. The Government was continuing efforts to reform the economy and reduce its CDS basis points and public spending. The budget crisis affected all sectors of the economy, including the mineral resources sector (Moya, 2009).

Greek merchandise exports in 2009 totaled $20.1 billion, of which fuels and mining products accounted for $16.9 million. Imports totaled $59.1 billion, of which fuels and mining products accounted for $7.3 million (World Trade Organization, 2009).

In 2009, Greece was the world’s leading producer of perlite (30%) and the world’s third ranked producer of pumice (11%) after Turkey and Italy; it also was estimated to have produced about 9% of the world’s bentonite and 1% of the world’s bauxite and nickel. In terms of the value of production, bauxite was the most important of Greece’s mineral commodities (Bolen, 2010; Bray, 2010; Crangle, 2010; Kuck, 2010; Virta, 2010).

The country’s mineral production levels in 2009 were more or less the same as those of 2008 except for notable decreases in the production of pumice (by 54%), mined nickel (50%), mined lead (27%), primary aluminum (17%), crude steel (16%), bauxite and zinc (11% each), and alumina (7%). These decreases were related mostly to the changes in demand and to the country’s and companies’ economic situations. Bauxite, which was the raw material needed for aluminum production, and lignite, which is used as a fuel in powerplants, were the two most abundant minerals in Greece (table 1).

Greece’s economic outlook for 2009 to 2010 is not expected to improve, even though the Government planned to continue its vigorous efforts to reform the economy and address the serious debt issue. Greece is expected to remain a major supplier of bauxite and industrial minerals in the international market. Mineral exploration activities in Greece are expected to be intensified to secure additional high-quality reserves of various minerals. The Government is expected be involved in planning investment programs to improve the existing installations and to lower operating costs.