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Τετάρτη, 12 Αυγούστου 2015

Sustainability perspectives in Greece as reflected by mineral deposits exploitation

The mining activity and further exploitation of mineral wealth remain the main development priorities of Greece.The exploitation of rich deposits of mineral raw materials is a timeless essential reference for the mining and metallurgical activities in Greece. The Greek minerals are early target of productive investment and interest, with strong commercial presence in the global market offering employment opportunities for large numbers of workers. Today employs about 23,000 workers and there are still more than 100,000 employment positions.The specification of strategic options for the future of mining in Greece should be of high priority, as well as the definition of a roadmap for the optimal use and sustainable exploitation of specific mineral raw materials.

Sustainability perspectives in Greece as reflected by mineral deposits exploitation Georgios Charalampidesa... by tzeferisp


The mineral raw materials such as bauxites, nickeliferous ores, pozzolanic earths, bentonite, perlites, gypsum, pumice, aggregates minerals and marbles are found in top productive activity positions, during the last two decades, together with lignite. The Greek mining industry is highly extroverted and steady, with about 77% of sales directed to exports. There is no doubt that the Greek mining activity is an important economic sector of Greece with highly promising growth perspectives.

Roadmap for Sustainable Development

Towards this perspective specific options and targeted actions are required.The predicted increase of future demand requires identification and exploitation of more ore reserves in the country. This development is particularly important for the growth potential and prospects of many localcommunities. This course requires effective and dynamic actions on crucial issues of exploitation of mineralraw materials in Greece, in relation to the conditions created by current international and European developments. Specifically:
  • Globalization of mining competition, e.g. industrial minerals, mainly from the countries of low productionand environmental costs (e.g. countries BRIC).
  • Pressures, with characteristics of regional competition from the Balkan countries, e.g. Turkey (with a favorable environment for the mining industry) and other new candidate member states.
  • Increasing environmental costs and conflicts of interest for land use.
  • Implementation of research technology development programs which require costly and high cognitivelevel. A key challenge is the implementation of "smart" and environmentally friendly technologies, aiming to high productivity and also high added value.
  • Significant areas of metallogenetically economic interest are constrained by other land uses. It is necessary to complete geographic and spatial mapping to eliminate potential conflicts of interest.
  • There is obviously lack of awareness among citizens about the role of mineral raw materials.
  • Lack of comprehensive synergy between various levels of government, particularly among those involving local communities and landowners.
  • The strong export orientated sector of natural decorative stones, is one of the few sectors of the Greek economy, which is able to compete related sectors in international markets. The pressure on this industry from international competition and the imperative need for a common European policy, constitute the conditions for harmonization of how to determine the physicochemical properties of Greek ornamental stones, with the rules applied in EU (e.g. standards, processes, procedures).
  • Aggregates minerals are in top demand among non-energy mineral raw materials consumed by European countries to meet their development needs. This demand of the construction industry tends growing at a rate greater than 4.2% per year in terms of the manufacturing industry of the new EU member states At the same time, policies and management practices of the aggregates in these countries are not to the same extent compatible with the environment, and generally with sustainable exploitation and use of natural resources.
Objectives to plan and anticipate
  • Promotion and implementation of a reliable evaluation system of Greek non-energy mineral raw materials.
  • Assessment of current situation of the Greek mining industry in relation to European and international developments.
  • Mapping of all proven and possible geological reserves in relevant economic geological and prognostic maps.
  • Contributing to remove «potential» conflicts and to avoid future conflicts over land use issues.
  •  Ensuring and strengthening of social progress and improvement of the quality of life.
  • Preservation of public health, workplace safety and environmental protection.
  • Implementation of a fully transparent system for mining information, serving the local community, industry and landowners.
  • Public debate in the context of sustainable development.
  • Open communication to report potential risks.