Hellenic Copper Mines (HCM) expects to net €2m from the sale of gold to be obtained from about 40,000 tonnes of old mining waste at Strongylos mine in Mathiatis.
The company estimates each tonne of mining waste contains about 1.5 gram of pure gold, which means a total of 60 kilograms of gold from the entire heap. Based on current gold prices of some €35,000 per kilo, this translates into a total value of €2m.
Under the law, 1% of the company’s income should go to the state. In this case, 1% of revenue corresponds to €20,000, of which 40% (€8,000) should go to the affected communities. The company has suggested that this amount should go exclusively to Mathiatis.
However, the above will only apply if authorities approve HCM’s second proposal to extract the gold from the slag heaps at Strongylos Mine in Mathiatis. According to HCM, once this is done the whole area will be replanted.
Mathiatis residents have expressed concern about HCM’s proposal to remove the mine waste and restore Strongylos mine – which is a candidate for inclusion on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Monuments- citing potentially negative environmental, archaeological and cultural repercussions.