Cyprus: Mining, Minerals and Fuel Resources

Topics Covered

Welcome to Cyprus
Overview of Resources
Metals
Industrial Minerals
Fossil Fuels
Investment
Sources

Welcome to Cyprus

Cyprus is an island country located south of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea. The total area of the country is 9,251 km2, and it has a population of 1,138,071 as of July 2012. The country enjoys temperate Mediterranean climate.

The national flag of Cyprus.
Image Credit: CIA Factbook.

Cyprus became an independent nation in 1960 but since then the island faced inter-communal violence between the Greek Cypriot majority and Turkish Cypriot minority. Civil war arose when the Greek government tried to take control of the island causing neighboring country Turkey to take military action. A third of the island was conquered by the Turks and they named it Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. However, this has not been recognized by the international community. Negotiations to reunite the divided island have not been successful.

The region under the government of Republic of Cyprus follows a market economy. The nation became a part of the EU in 2004 and adopted the euro as its currency in 2008. Owing to internal political conflicts the economy did not see much progress in 2011. The GDP of this island nation was $24.03 billion that year. The country continues to struggle to revamp its economy.

The natural resources of Cyprus include gypsum, copper, pyrites, asbestos, marble, and clay. Its mining sector is small scale and has limited effect on the economy.

Overview of Resources

The mineral resources of Cyprus include copper, gypsum, asbestos, chromite, sand, stone, lime, and umber. The combined gross production of the mining and quarrying sectors in 2010 was valued at €90.4 million.

Trade statistics between U.S. and Cyprus in 2010 is as follows:

  • U.S. exports to Cyprus totaled $134 million which includes
    • $1.4 million in specialized mining equipment
    • $1.2 million in finished metal shapes
    • $684,000 in excavating equipment
    • $595,000 in iron and steel mill products
    • $285,000 in petroleum products
  • U.S. imports from Cyprus totaled $11 million

The map of Cyprus. Image Credit: CIA Factbook

Metals

The chief copper exploration regions in Cyprus are centered on the Troodos ophiolite complex. In 2010, EMED Mining Public Ltd., a Cyprus-based mineral development and exploration company, conducted several exploration activities in its Klirou copper-zinc property. Northern Lion Gold Corp. of Canada was also involved in exploration activities and announced that its drill samples accounted for 5.1% copper and 5.7% zinc across 9 m.

Northern Lion also conducted gold exploration activities for gold. In the latter part of 2010, the company located significant amounts of gold and valuable minerals. A sample from the Anglisides project was estimated at 50 g/t gold. The government granted Northern Lion license to explore in the Asproyia, Limni, and Paphos areas. It also gained two more permits for the Klirou area.

Industrial Minerals

Although the sedimentary rocks of Cyprus are abundant in industrial minerals such as aggregates, bentonite, chalk, gypsum, clay, limestone, and building stone, the government has not enough taken steps to expand the exploration activities or attract investments so as to increase production and gain revenue from exports.

Owing to the extensive quarrying of rocks and industrial minerals in Cyprus in the last couple of years, there are about 220 quarries producing various materials mainly for domestic use. The items exported are mostly quick and hydrated lime, portland and various types of cement and gypsum plasters.

Fossil Fuels

Cyprus did not produce any natural gas or petroleum in 2010. The major activity in the oil and natural gas sector surrounded the plans by Vitol Tank Terminals International BV (VTTI) of the Netherlands to construct a $129 million petroleum import and distribution terminal in Vassiliki. This terminal would be completed this year and would transform Cyprus as a major petroleum trading hub.

Investment

Mining experts feel that in the next couple of years, the output from the mineral sector of Cyprus will primarily be used to meet the domestic demand for construction materials. With the support of the international community for Cypriot exports, bentonite, gypsum, perlite, and umber will continue to bring revenue for the country.

Natural gas and petroleum exploration activities are likely to increase in the coming years. The government has started implementing EU Directives concerning the safety and health in the extractive industry, as recent inspection reports showed that the working conditions in mines and quarries were very poor. Similarly, the government is also using EU standards to check construction products produced from quarry operations.

Currently, foreign companies have shown interest in exploring for copper, gypsum and gold in the island. It is up to the government to provide a conducive and secure environment for mining operations.

Disclaimer: The Author of this article does not imply any investment recommendation and some content is speculative in nature. The Author is not affiliated in any way with any companies mentioned and all statistical information is publically available.

Sources

http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2010/myb3-2010-cy.pdf

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/cy.html

G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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Comments

  1. Hussein Ahmed Hussein Ahmed Egypt says:

    Very useful information that I did not know before. Thanks for putting effort into this it helped me a lot in my research about Cyprus .. :)

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