Cyprus - Mining



In 2001, the mineral industry of Cyprus was dominated by the production of bentonite, cement, copper, and refined petroleum products. Mineral production reached a peak in 1960, when minerals formed 58% of total exports; in 2001, they represented 5% of exports. The decline was attributed to depletion of minerals and unfavorable marketing conditions abroad. The place of mining in the GDP similarly declined from 16.7% in 1952 to 0.3% by 1994. In recent years, production of Cyprus's historically important export minerals—asbestos, celestite, chromite, copper, and iron pyrite—has stopped. Cyprus was a significant source of the mineral pigments umber and yellow ochre, which, along with gypsum, were produced for export in 2001. Ownership and control of minerals and quarry materials were vested in the government, which may grant prospecting permits, mining leases, and quarrying licenses. Royalties on extracted mineral commodities ranged from 1% to 5%.

Hydraulic cement, a leading export commodity, accounted for half of the country's mining and quarrying production. Production figures for 2001 included: 1.37 million tons of cement (910,000 in 1997), 126,600 tons of bentonite (70,660 in 1996),9.3 million tons of sand and gravel (6 million in 1996), 850,936 tons of high-grade copper ore (0.60% Cu), 863,716 tons of low-grade copper ore (0.29% Cu), 250,000 tons of crude gypsum (181,546 in 1999), 7,800 tons of umber (9,169 in 1999, 4,604 in 1996), 1.78 million tons of marl (for cement production), and 1.5 million tons of crushed limestone (Havara). Other mine and quarry products for 2001 were crushed aggregate, common clays, calcined gypsum, hydrated lime, marble, the mineral pigments ocher and terra verte, building stone, and sulfur.

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