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Δευτέρα, 28 Ιουλίου 2014

Geological, Mineralogical and Geochemical Aspects for Critical and Rare Metals in Greece

[by Vasilios Melfos* and Panagiotis Ch. Voudouris**]

The European Union (EU) is highly dependent on critical and rare metals which are very important for a sustainable development. However, European industry is not able to cover its demands from native sources and it imports commodities from third countries.

Greece is one of the EU countries with the most potential for supplying these strategic metallic raw materials in the future, since it hosts a large number of ore deposits.



1. The epithermal- and porphyry-type deposits and the reduced intrusion related systems of the Serbomacedonian and the Rhodope metallogenic provinces in Northeastern Greece are promising targets for a future exploitation and exploration in Sb, Te, Mo, Re, Ga, In, REE and PGE, as by-products, along with base metals, Au and Ag, if the mining and extractive activities will start.

2.Greece is the leading producer of Ni and Al in the EU from laterites and bauxites of central and northern Greece. These deposits also contain significant amounts of Co or REE which should be considered in the future plans of the processing industries. 

3. REE are found in high contents at the placer deposits between Chalkidiki and Kavala (North Greece) and elevated PGE concentrations are associated with the chromitites of northwestern Greece.  The chromitites of northwestern Greece contain significant concentrations of PGE, whereas the coastal sediments between Chalkidiki and Kavala are characterized by REE geochemical anomalies which may be related with the Kavala and Pangeon Mt reduced intrusion-related system, although this has to be clarified.
Therefore, the mineral wealth of Greece can contribute significantly to a sustainable and a competitive economy of Europe.The mineral wealth of Greece can provide solutions to the challenge of a sustainable and a competitive economy. The rational exploitation of the ore deposits will offer significant developmental benefits and it will enable Greece to strengthen its global role in the mining industry. 

A new mining policy must focus on the more effective exploitation of the mineral resources, the improvement of the environmental performance, the safe operation of the mines and the accidents prevention, the mining waste management and the recycling process. However, when considering the exploitation of critical and rare metals, we have to keep in mind that this process is long, entails a high risk and requires large investments.


*Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Economic Geology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece

**Department of Mineralogy-Petrology, University of Athens, Athens 15784, Greece; E-Mail: voudouris@geol.uoa.gr