Greece to sell coal-fired plants, mines as part of bailout deal

Greece will sell its coal-fired plants and coal mines equal to about 40% of its dominant power utility Public Power Corp’s (PPC) coal-fired capacity, as part of a reform deal the government reached with its foreign creditors.

Athens needs the funds urgently, as it needs to repay 7.5 billion euros in debt maturing in July.
The move aims at opening the energy market in Greece, which is second only to Germany in terms of lignite coal production in the European Union.

Athens will begin testing the waters for such sale in November, with the goal of wrapping up the sale by June 2018, a government official told Reuters.

The government needs the funds urgently, as it needs to repay 7.5 billion euros in debt maturing in July.

Coal is currently Greece’s single most important local energy source, according to World Energy Council and PPC is the nation’s largest producer of the fossil fuel, with the right to exploit 63% of known reserves.

The state-own company is also the country’s main electricity provider, producing 95% of Greece’s total electricity supply.

Cecilia Jamasmie, 2/5/2017,

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A new economic, environmentally friendly activity at the site of a restored perlite mine in Milos island, Greece

In 2014, S&B Industrial Minerals S.A.currently member of IMERYS Group, decided to start a new economic activity at the site of a restored perlite mine in Milos island. A feasibility study and a business plan were initially carried out to assess the initiative’s sustainability. Then, in February 2014 the planting of 17,500 vines of a Cyclades variety (Assyrtiko) in the first 5 hectares of S&B’s vineyard was concluded at a rehabilitated part of an active perlite mine in Trachilas. The Thrachilas mine is still active in other parts where extraction of perlite is still taking place.

Viticulture is one of the traditional, yet today abandoned, economic activities of the island. Historical sources testify that in 1930, 2,200 acres of vineyards were cultivated on the island with a 250 tonnes per year wine production. The viticulture was abandoned almost entirely due to a phylloxera “epidemic”. S&B chose to revive this activity building on a tradition that is already ingrained in the island’s history and testimonials. S&B applies an organic cultivation method thus promoting the protection and conservation of the environment. Irrigation water (invaluable in the Cyclades, which are characterized by long summer droughts) is recycled, i.e. not derived from the island’s aquifer.

The activity also aims to encourage Milos’ residents to begin using more environmentally friendly farming methods. In this respect, free training seminars have been organized by S&B on Milos, educating locals that already cultivate or wish to revive small family vineyards, urging them to start using organic agricultural methods to produce quality local organic wine. At the same time, co-operations are being developed with vine growers and winemakers of Santorini and N. Greece.

The new activity aims also to educate visitors about industrial minerals, abundant on the island of Milos. Minerals are almost everywhere in our everyday-life, even in wine-production. Sulfur used to protect the crop from disease in organic winegrowing, bentonite used for wine stabilization and perlite used in wine clarification are prominent examples of Milos’ minerals used in viticulture and wine production.

Finally, the activity will also serve to attract visitors to the island since wine production is intertwined with culture, hospitality, quality, and tradition.

Impact on Society

During 2014, the activity’s start-up year, the following achievements are noted:

• Two new jobs have been created.
• Four free training seminars on vine cultivation methods have been offered to locals (in March, May, June, August 2014) with remarkable attendance of 60-100 participants each time.
• The new activity has been very well accepted by the local community.

During its official inauguration and blessing ceremony by the Metropolitan of Syros in June 2014 over 300 participants from the local community, local officials such as the Mayor of Milos, but mostly common people, attended expressing their enthusiasm.gallery_sg2020_1429015250_good_practice_image

Initiative Location

S&B vineyard was established in the already rehabilitated part of the Trachilas active perlite mine on Milos island.

Workers Participation

In the design, supervision and implementation of this new activity the S&B Group Sustainable Development Department and the Milos Rehabilitation Department are involved.

Working with Organization

S&B is cooperating with an oenologist consultant that provides expertise and also the free seminars to local community.

Benefits for Οrganization

Benefits for the company include:

• Add value to a long and successful tradition of mine reclamation and biodiversity management, taking it one step further in establishing an activity that will also add economic value to the local community.
• Build on S&B’s good reputation as a local corporate citizen.
• Become an additional tool for S&B’s long-standing contribution to tourism on the island, attracting visitors that are interested in wine-making and wine-tasting.


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Olympias Concentrator Plant Rehabilitation

Renewable | Kravvaritis & Partners | Engineers & Consultants, was appointed by Hellas Gold SA to undertake the auditing, permitting, engineering, design, construction supervision and commissioning of the Olympias concentrator plant rehabilitation. The fully refurbished plant was designed for a throughput of 800,000 tons per annum (tpa) for adjacent Olympias mine tailings re-processing. The concentrator site is located in the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece.


The Olympias concentrator plant was commissioned in 1976 but had not been operated since production stopped in 1995.


The recovery of gold bearing pyrite / arsenopyrite concentrate was inefficient and a significant quantity reported to the tailings management facility (TMF) adjacent to the mine.


Approximately 2.4 Mt grading 3.4 g/t gold was accumulated and these tailings make up the initial feed to the rehabilitated concentrator. This feed material is mechanically reclaimed and re-pulped so as to feed the grinding circuit. The grinding circuit comprises of a ball mill. The slurry from the grinding circuit is classified via the mill cyclones and the cyclone overflow undergoes flotation to produce high grade gold bearing concentrate. The concentrate produced in flotation is thickened in high rate thickeners. The thickened concentrate is pumped to dedicated concentrate storage tanks prior to filtration via disk filters. The high grade gold bearing concentrate after filtration is ready for dispatch to market. The tailings from the concentrator are separated into coarse and fine fractions. The fine fraction, which is about 20% of the total, is filtered and then transported as filter cake to Stratoni for disposal on the existing TMF. The coarse fraction of the residue from the tailings phase was used by local contractors as aggregate.


Capital costs for the concentrator refurbishment at Olympias have been calculated at 20.000.000€.


The construction works commenced in mid 2010 and completed on schedule by Q2 2012. The concentrator plant got its operating permit in December 2012.







1APRON FEEDER1 x 150 tn/h
2BALL MILL1 x 350 kW-el
3DISK FILTERS2 x 10 tn/h

4 x 20 tn/h

4VACUUM PUMPS2 x 200 kW-el

4 x 400 kW-el

5FILTER PRESSES2 x 20 tn/h

1 x 1000 kVA




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This spring, Aggregates Manager put out the call for entries into our second annual photo contest.

The top winner, Lemon Grove, Calif.-based RCP Block & Brick  is a family-owned company that extracts sand to provide material for the manufacture of its core products – concrete masonry units and retaining wall block. Its reclamation plan was approved in 1991 and began in 1994. By working with the local community, the operator was able to restore the native vegetation and streamed along the new Walker Preserve Trail, which is a segment of the larger San Diego River Trail.

Along the reclaimed slopes of the site, the city of Santee installed a public trail with placards that explain how the river once provided the sand necessary for the concrete blocks many area residents have in their homes and schools. The placards also highlight how the site has been reclaimed using native vegetation. Interestingly, this community education is all taking place on the community’s dime, not the operator’s. Considering that this project took place in California, it underscores that a good partnership can build ties in even the most unlikely of places.

That’s the message I hope operators throughout the United States and Canada take away from this contest. Build trust with your local communities. Take their needs into account when considering future use of your property. Foster an environment where each entity helps the other. That is a future plan worth creating.

For more great ideas, check out our photo gallery below.

– See more at:

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Members of a student group of Aristotel University of Thessaloniki (AUTH) together with members of the Geology exploratory department of the company “Hellas Gold S.A”, were united under the same direction of research regarding the topic Mining and Geological Exploration.


The formative geologist of AUTH, visited recently the company “Hellas Gold S.A”, in the area of Madem Lakkos, where they had the opportunity to be introduced by the scientific team of geologists in the wide scope of geology-mineralogy exploration, at the mining area of Northeast Halkidiki.


Meanwhile, the objective of this scientific study and research was the 3D design and modeling, during exploration and exploitation stage of a deposit, emphasizing on the uses and the capabilities of innovative programs, giving as an example the experience gained from the Mavres Petres mine.


This initiative is a culmination of the timeless philosophy and actual support of the academic research in corporation with Greek and international universities, which applies on many levels in Cassandra Mines.


While the training workshop was held at Madem Lakkos, on February, it has been included in the wider context of actions of AUTH S.E.G.


What is the Society of Economic Geologists (SEG)

The Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) was founded on the 1919, aiming on promoting and developing the science of geology, as it has been developed since the early stages of the research of deposits, to the confirmation of the reserves and until the final stages of the extraction of mineral materials.

Nowadays, the association is aiming for, the communication and for introducing the research work, the maintenance of highly scientific qualified members and the contact and cooperation of academic scientists, private and industrial executives, with a common interest for the topic of economic Geology.

In order for the gradual integration of the students, who will be the future Mineralogy-economic Geologists, in the global scientific community, S.E.G encourages the establishment of local student chapters, which are designed to promote the chapter’s objectives. This is achieved first trough the development of the study of mineral resources and reserves and through understanding the mechanisms of genesis, evaluation, and production. Secondly, this is achieved by spreading the knowledge through publications, seminars, meetings and field training.  Moreover, the institution of student chapters, which operates in 27 countries for the past decade, plays a key role in bringing together students from different countries, as well as, with academic geoscientists, research centers and industry

In more than 30 universities around the world, including some of the top ranking , ones in the field of mineralogy exploration (UBC, ETH, GSM), through student initiatives supported by their professors, have established lately similar student groups.

In Greece, since a past few years, a SEG annex of students has been founded in the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and from this year a respective group has been established at the department of Geology in AUTH.


For more information regarding the SEG chapter of AUTH, visit the website here ( )



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The mining and metallurgical wastes come from the survey or prospecting or mining and processing of solid, liquid and gaseous deposits, which due to their high content of heavy metals and other hazardous substances constitute a potential hazard and may cause irreversible environmental damage. The major accidents that occurred in Europe and the environmental and economic devastation of local communities convinced the European Commission to introduce EU-wide regulations, such as Directive 2006/21/EC and numerous other decisions in order to prevent similar events in the future and to succeed in creating an effective management of mining wastes. The National Law Directive was incorporated by Act no 39624/2209/E103 with JMD (GG 2076v/25-09-2009) and includes the provisions of Directive 2006/21/EC on the management of wastes from extractive industries, given the current status of mining activities in Greece. The impact on air quality is affected by the emissions of particulate matter, gases and heavy metals coupled with solid wastes from the mining activity itself by the composition of deposits in infertile (sterile) materials. Standard practice in Greece is the placement of solid wastes in obsolete arcades when it comes to underground workings, or in obsolete outdoor farms or grades within the mining or quarry area. The stages tips should have been properly compressed, a small gradient height and slope and a large deck width should be adopted, slightly inclined gradient slope, with coverage of the floors of the levels with soil and finally planting material and floor slopes should be placed so as to prevent landslides and contact of the mineral tips with atmospheric oxygen which causes acid runoff (effluents of mining holdings). Acid runoff can also be created by the presence of an aquifer within the deposits. The Special Environmental Inspectorate Agency, under the aegis of the Special Secretariat, within its competence and in accordance with Article 17 of that Directive which requires the authority to inspect any waste facility even before the commencement of deposition operations, carried out inspections in mining and metallurgical enterprises in Chalkidiki, Euboea, Boeotia, e.t.c.



Since Aristotle’s era, gold mining was carried out in Chalkidiki. This gold funded the kingdom of Macedonia and the campaigns of Alexander the Great. During the Ottoman era the twelve villages were also known as the villages of copper because apart from gold the underground was rich in copper, manganese, zinc and silver. A team of Environmental Inspectors along with scientists from the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration and with the presence of the Special Secretary of Energy & Environmental Inspection visited a similar contemporary activity in Chalkidiki. The autopsy which was held in May 2010 (before the issuance of the environmental conditions) was designed to identify the environmental problems created by the old and new mining activity and provide suggestions for better and sound environmental management of wastes. The inspection focused on the management of solid and liquid wastes generated from mining and enrichment of mixed sulphide mineralization of auriferous-silver and auriferous-copper ore purpura (under construction) followed by the metallurgical processing of the condensate. Wastes generated from these activities are labeled by the European Waste Catalogue as potentially dangerous. Examples of problems that can arise from such facilities are:

  • The sitting and management of mining waste rocks (new and old)
  • Sitting and management of tailings (tailings ponds)
  • Rehabilitation of disposal sites of historical waste metallurgical activity and of the enrichment plant,
  • Port construction (extension of the existing ones and creation of new ones) for the loading of mining and processing of products which pose risks to the marine environment.
  • The investment will have a lifespan of more than 30 years, and its implementation will require investments of around 1 billion Euros.

The actions made on the day of the autopsy included the following activities:

  • The mixed sulphide ore mine in the Black Stone regions (active) and Cast Iron Pit (off)
  • The enrichment plant at Stratoni
  • The enrichment tailings dumps, tailings and industrial waste areas and Karakoli Chevalier and other venues.

According to the committee’s report on compliance with environmental conditions (inspect) of 121 environmental conditions issued in 1999 and 2005, 99 of them were met with no differences, 11 partially met and 11 not met at all. Deviations from compliance with the conditions mainly involved solid waste management and rehabilitation of disposal sites. During the autopsy samples of waters were shipped for analysis at the IGME. The results of the water samples indicated that the mine water quality discharged to water bodies (sea, Kokkinolakkas, Mavrolakkas) met environmental conditions set by the Prefecture of Chalkidiki.


Map 1. Map showing sampling locations in Stratoni mines and Black Stones, Mademia


A sample of surface water was also taken from stream “Argyro” that passes through the eastern outskirts of Stratoni, upstream of mining activities, was found to contain relatively high values of heavy metals (Zn, Mn, Cd, Ni) and SO4,  a result attributed to the natural mineralizations of the geological background. From the area of the mine Olympiad, two samples were taken, one from surface water of Mavrolakkas near the deposition location of the enrichment plant and one from the Olympias mine waters in the point that are rejected in Mavrolakkas. The waters of the mine Olympiad generally contained low concentrations of heavy metals, toxic elements and sulfate radicals and generally all concentrations were below the permissible limits for discharge of liquid waste in the natural recipients of Chalkidiki (Chalkidiki NE 96400/85, Official Gazette573V). In Mavrolakkas’ stream, in the position upstream of the point of discharge of mine water, the water conductivity is low (331 μS / cm) as well as in the waters of the mine in place Olympiad in Mavrolakkas rejection place (600 μS / cm). Surface waters of Mavrolakkas, upstream of the mining operations, contain relatively high rates in arsenic (30 μgr / l), but no more than the permissible limit quality of the stream which is 50 μg / l. The values of dissolved oxygen (DO) which range between 6,2-9,2 mg / l are considered normal.

 Acidity (pH):

The raw waters that are being processed in the unit of Stratoni are acidic (pH= 2.6) and the ones that are treated in Mademia Pit unit are slightly acidic (pH = 6.21). In Olympiad mine, the waters are alkaline (pH = 8.24). The water from the Silver Stream and Mavrolakkass is also alkaline (pH = 7.47 and 8.66 respectively).


The conductivity of the water processing unit of Stratoni before neutralization is 4010  μS / cm and 3330  μS / cm after neutralization. Correspondingly, the conductivity of water in Mademia Pit unit is 1550 μS / cm before neutralization and 1310 μS / cm after neutralization. Note that the conductivity limits of drinkable water is 2500 μS / cm and pH = 9,5. In the stream Argyro, conductivity of surface water is 2198 μS / cm, indicating that water, even upstream of the mining installation, is affected by the presence of hot spots (oxidized metalliferous areas of scattered pyrite mineralization that is indigenous to the natural background and metalliferous deposits of steriles). In Mavrolakkas stream, upstream of the point of discharge of mine waters, the conductivity is low (331 μS / cm) and water in the mine Olympiad is also low (600 μS / cm). Values of dissolved oxygen (DO) are ranging from 6.2-9.2 mg / l and are considered normal. By treating the waters of the mines Mademia Pit and Black Stones which have high concentration levels of heavy metals (Al, Fe, Pb, Zn, Mn, Cd, Ni, Co, As, Ca, Mg, Ba, sulphates roots (SO4)), can become cleaner, thereby lowering their concentration values and meet the required standards for discharging them into water bodies. Note that the stream Kipouristas passes through areas with slag deposits which are remains of old mining activity upstream of the mine Olympiad. According to previous water samples analysis from stream Kipouristas, relatively elevated concentrations in arsenic were observed (30-80 μgr / l),  and its waters contribute to the surface waters in Mavrolakkas. During the process of recovering the polymetallic porphyry-gold (flash smelting) through pyrometallurgical methods, it is expected that significant quantities of gaseous and particulate compounds will be produced.



Map 2. Map of sampling locations also in Stratoni, mines and Black Stones Mademia Pit


The Special Inspection Secretariat of Environment and Energy submitted proposals to minimize the expected environmental impacts which were related with the use and application of the best available techniques, the remediation of the wider environment and the undoing of the effects of the longitudinal mode of the mines, creating an effective and reliable mechanism for monitoring and controlling the operation of the activity, protection, restoration and management of surface and groundwater in rational and sustainable manner, according to the principles of PD 51/07 (Directive 2000/60/EC on the water), implementing Directive 2004/35/EC and PD 148/09 on environmental liability, waste management of all mining activity in accordance with the principles of the legislation, establishing strict safety standards for new waste dumps and thorough investigation of the risk of all materials, excluding use of cyanide technology in metallurgy gold, using pyrometallurgical method (according to the company’s proposal), project design for the environment even worse extreme scenarios, given the worsening of extreme weather events and climate change, but the intense seismicity of the region, searching for new sites tailings deposition because the existing landfills and waste ponds Karakoli Chevalier was not sufficient for the extra volume of waste disposal, e.t.c.

By S. ELEFTHERIADOU*: Special Environmental Inspectors Agency, Hellenic Ministry for the Environment and Climate Change, South Greece Division, Athens, Greece

Source:, published by tzeferisp

* The passage of Chalkidiki was conducted with the support of the Special Secretary of Environmental and Energy Survey Mr M. Karavassili

REFERENCES:   Panias Dimitrios, Associate Professor, Metallurgy of Alluminium 2. 3. 4.


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The exploitation of gold, silver and lead was very important to ancient people and particularly to Ancient Greeks. There are many historical references that show the value and importance of these metals in their lives. Particularly gold and silver consisted at the time symbols of power, worship objects and many times a cause of war. The largest gold mines in antiquity were operating in areas of Macedonia and Thrace. Many ancient Greek cities and many sovereigns based their power on the exploitation of silver and gold mines. A milestone in ancient history is the fact that, from the exploitation of silver mines in Lavrio (Laurium), the Athenians constructed, among others, 200 triremes and crushed together with other Greeks the Persian fleet in the straits of Salamis.

Therefore, the gold mines of Macedonia played undoubtedly an important role in the evolution of ancients, particularly the mines of the area that expands from Axios to Nestos, including Thasos. The most important metal that was discovered in the area and was used by the inhabitants was gold. For centuries the rich mines of Pangeo contained in abundance gold and silver, in such a way that Herodotus mentioned that “the Pangeo mountain, which is large and high, has gold and silver ore within it, which are exploited by Pieres Odomantoi and Satrai “, while Strabo mentioned that “there is much gold in Krines, where the city of Philippi was founded, close to the Pangeo mountain. And in Pangeo there are gold and silver mines, as well as in both the area up to river Strymon and the area beyond the river which expands to the borders of Paeonia. The inhabitants of Paeonia can also find some pieces of gold in their land”. Euripides, in his tragedy “Rhesus” names the Pangeo as “the mountain with the blocks of gold, the soil of which hides silver”. Therefore, the search for gold consisted the most important issue for the area throughout the centuries as well as the key point of the entire history of the area. Thucydides was the owner of mines in Skapti Yli (in the valley of Philippi) and provides information based on his own experience.

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