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Παρασκευή, 2 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Post Mining and Alternative Uses of old mining sites after closure in Greece



by Dr. Peter G. Tzeferis

By definition mining is a temporary use of land. This means that land use options after it ceases must be considered as part of every project. Some types of mining allow for ‘restoration’ of land to pre-extraction status, others can alter the landscape permanently but allow for new land uses.

Post-mining land uses are therefore very dependent both on the nature of the mining activity and the extent to which planning for the post-closure phase takes place. And off course they are dependent on the legislation framework and the availability of funds at any given time for the rehabilitation of the land.

The Mining Code of 1973 (as extensively amended in 1976) is still the principal legal instrument regulating mining activities in Greece. Greek Mining code does not provide for alternative uses of the mine site after the end of the life of the mine. 

This has to be changed and these aspects need to be incorporated into the national legal framework and also be included in National Mineral Policy and relative development plans. The financial guarantee that is also required from the operator (concessionaire), in order for the State to secure the respect of all obligations arising from the relevant ETA , can also be expanded to include those works concerning the after-closure of the mining site.

Moreover, one of the key challenges for the mining policy in Greece is to show that places with mining history have a wide range of applications and are not a negative factor in the development of the area. With appropriate central legal regulation and an effective regional management, a place previously described with negative connotations can be transformed into interesting sites beneficial for the region as one of the centers of tourism.

Although there is a lack of a regular procedure in this field, some examples of best practices/success stories could be helpful:

A) Ancient quarries of Dionyssos turned into an open Museum. The ancient quarries of Dionyssos, located at Pentelikon mountain, the source of the marble used to built the Parthenon, have been made accessible to the public through a series of paths built from the plentiful waste rock scattered about site. A design team has ensures the artificial landscape that dates back to the 5th century BC is preserved, giving the visitor the opportunity to comprehend the scale of operations and the challenges of working with minimal equipment in a remote area. The museum is set beside a ramped slide that survives from the original quarry. [by Dionyssomarble S.A.]


B) Vagonetto (Fokis, Central Greece) Mining Park. The Fokis Mining Park is a Theme Park, is a unique underground experience built in a former bauxite mine site after closure. in its bauxite mining operations, at the 51st km of the Lamia – Amfissa National Road, in the Fokis Prefecture and has been in operation since September 2003. The idea for this project came from the people who worked in the mines and wanted to preserve and share their memories of the place – now inextricably linked with the bauxite mining process. A visit to Vagonetto is a valuable educational and entertaining experience for children, young people, teachers and families. [by S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.]


C) Former Lignite mine turn into motocross track. Another best practice concerning mine rehabilitation is the devastated landscape of a former lignite mine (in megalopolis Peloponissos) which has been given new energy by being partially converted to a “motor cross track” covering an area of 60 hectares. [by Public Power Corporation, PPC SA].