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Cyprus News Agency 96-07-03.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] New Period of copper mining in Cyprus starts
  • [02] Hannay and British MPs discuss Cyprus

  • 0855:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] New period of copper mining in Cyprus starts

    by Rebekah Gregoriades

    Nicosia, Jul 3 (CNA) -- Copper mining began again in Cyprus a fortnight ago, after two decades of inactivity, a venture that is estimated to bring in eight to ten million pounds (approximately twenty million dollars) every year.

    The mine, situated near the village of Skouriotissa in the north-western region of the island, uses modern methods and technology to mine the ore and extract the copper from it, in harmonisation with the high standards expected of the mining industry of the future.

    The reopening of the mine followed the forming of a joint venture of mining companies from Cyprus and Australia, namely ''Hellenic Copper Mines'' of the Hellenic Mining Company (EME) and Australian ''Oxiana'', which owns 47% of the new company.

    According to the Director-General of the mine, Constantinos Xydas, with the new factory erected in the area, Cyprus is now able, for the first time in its history, to produce plates of pure copper, the copper cathodes, out of low grade copper and export it.

    The primary goal of the company is to produce eight thousand tonnes of copper a year, with the prospective of increasing this capacity substantially in the future, Xydas said.

    He added there are also traces of gold in the mine, which may be mined in a few years.

    The works to reopen the mine began early in 1995, aiming to operate in June 1996, a goal that has been reached. However, there are still a few works in process, to be completed by Autumn, which do not allow the mine to reach full productivity levels yet.

    So far, Xydas mentioned, 200.000 tonnes of copper ore have been mined and processed into cathodes. The copper ore is produced out of a surface open pit and is processed in a special plant. In the final stage, the pure cathodes are produced by electrolysis.

    It is estimated that the mine will operate for a period of ten years, during which fifteen million tonnes of ore should be mined, with a content of 0,6% copper only.

    The reopening of the mine came in a period when the fluctuations in the price of copper on the international stockmarkets are very high. Because Cyprus is exporting to the international market, the price of the copper it produces is defined by the two metal stock exchanges.

    About eighty people are currently employed at the mine, including twenty university graduates, whilst others work for companies directly involved in the ''Hellenic Copper Mines'', mining Skouriotissa.

    Well known engineers, working together with Cypriot experts, have been guiding the activities and organisation of the mine and a few employees have been trained in Australia and other countries, where similar mining installations operate.

    In antiquity, Cyprus was very rich in metals and is believed to have derived its name from ''cyprum'', the Latin word for copper. On various occasions in the past, no measures were taken to protect the environment around the mines, which resulted in ecological destruction.

    Cyprus does not have the luxury to waste its natural beauty, so trees are already being planted around the Skouriotissa mine, to avoid corrosion.

    Moreover, the mining company has reassured it will conform to the provisions of the law for the protection of the environment.

    CNA RG/GP/1996

    [02] Hannay and British MPs discuss Cyprus

    London, Jul 3 (CNA) -- British representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay discussed here today the Cyprus problem with four British MPs, namely Conservative Ian Twinn and Labour Tom Cox, Robin Corbett and Eddy O'Hara.

    Speaking after the one-hour meeting Twinn said they ''covered all the important issues in a very useful exchange of view, including concern about security of both communities, Cyprus' application for accession to the EU and the future of the island.''

    The recently-appointed British representative visited Cyprus in early June having talks with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    He is to come again on Saturday, July 6, for a six-day visit during which he is scheduled to meet President Clerides, Rauf Denktash and other personalities from both sides.

    Britain, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union have revived efforts to achieve a breakthrough in the protracted impasse in the Cyprus peace talks.

    Turkey has blocked all efforts to reach an overall solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996

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