In 2012, a diverse group of global leaders met at the KIN Catalyst conference in Brazil. With representation from business, academia, nonprofits and government, the group convened and collaborated to discuss the look of the Mining Company of the Future.

Participation in the discussions came from a range of stakeholders. Mark Cutifani (CEO of Anglo American), Ray Offenheiser (President of Oxfam America), and Peter Bryant (Senior Fellow, Kellogg Innovation Network) all co-chaired the discussions. There was also representation from organizations such as Vale, AngloGold Ashanti, The Ford Foundation, Harvard University, Global Indigenous Solutions, and many other organizations.

Together, these different parties identified a set of priorities that could help shift the industry. The consensus was that mining needs to change proactively in order to design their own destiny – or someone or something else will.

Mining companies today face a complexity of problems: spiraling costs, government intervention, deepening pits, lower ore grades, and declining productivity are just some of the issues. Communities are not trusting mining, and this creates additional uncertainty. It is harder to find and start a mine than ever before. Combine this with today’s capital environment and struggling commodity prices, and it creates a very difficult picture.

Since the KIN Catalyst conference in 2012, the working group has developed a much more extensive framework for mining companies, called the Development Partner Framework (DPF). This framework is outlined in the following infographic. If you are looking to get involved, the organization can be contacted at mining@kinglobal.org

For more information on the KIN Catalyst: Mining Company of the Future at the Kellogg Innovation Network, visit the website: http://www.kinglobal.org/catalyst.php

What do you think? Is this vision possible – and what are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

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Athens, 11 June 2015 – The company Hellas Gold S.A has been awarded yesterday in a splendid ceremony at the Goulandris Museum the “Bronze Award” from the “Corporate Responsibility Institute” (CRI) as a distinction and reward for its involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility during the past two years. Within the framework of the sustainable and lasting development of the region where it operates, prompting strongly all the activities for social contribution and responsibility.


The way of its writing policy determines the company’s actions, which are the support of employment, the working conditions in Cassandra Mines as well as the company’s decisions for the environmental management that were sealed recently with the ISO 14001. Since January 2011 the company had already obtained the license for the health and safety management at work from OHSAS 18001:2007. All relevant indicators show the safe operation of the projects as far as it concerns the environment, the employees and the society.


The Bronze Award of CRI that assesses organizations with extremely strict criteria from the British Association BITC, is the seal of our ongoing efforts to support our society, ensuring the quality of life of our people and keeping the highest standards and best practices in our projects.


Mr. Kostas Georgantzis, Head of Communications and Corporate Responsibility of Hellas Gold said: “ There is no way for us for complacency. We are thrilled to receive this award. It is a very positive progress and an important step towards the goals we have set. Moreover, it is a reason for raising the bar even higher in order to achieve the best of us.”

A few months ago, in March 2015 “ The Corporate Social Responsibility Report of Hellas Gold” was distinguished from the “Global Reporting Initiative” the largest organization providing international standards of corporate responsibility reports, with «Materiality Disclosure». Another distinction received by the company in November 2014 by the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece, it was the praise for its performance in the area of ​​corporate social responsibility as part of the awards “Greek Value “.


For More information visit the page www.hellasgold.com

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The Greek government-debt crisis is part of the ongoing European debt crisis, being triggered and directly caused locally in Greece by a combination of structural weaknesses of the Greek economy along with a decade long pre-existence of overly high structural deficits and debt-to-GDP levels on public accounts. In late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning Greece’s ability to meet its debt obligations, due to a reported strong increase in government debt levels along with continued existence of high structural deficits. This led to a crisis of confidence, indicated by a widening of bond yield spreads and the cost of risk insurance on credit default swaps compared to the other countries in the Eurozone. The Eurozone countries, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), later nicknamed the Troika, responded by launching bailout loans to rescue Greece based conditionally on implementation of austerity measures, structural reforms and privatization of government assets. The final review of the entire bailout programme was expected to be published by the Troika in February 2015. Following the rejection of the government’s candidate for president in parliamentary votes during December 2014, a snap parliamentary election was held on 25 January 2015. The Syriza Party won the election and formed a new government, which declared the old bailout agreement was now cancelled, while requesting acceptance of an extended deadline from 28 February to 31 May 2015 for the process to negotiate a new replacing creditor agreement with the Eurogroup. Eurogroup ministers and other creditors agree to extend Greece’s bailout program for another four months, after accepting reform plan by Greek government. Markets have grown more optimistic that the country’s immediate future in the Eurozone will be secure until the summer, but with the government rapidly running out of options, even the negotiation of any reforms would still not ensure Greece’s financial future after June.

This difficult and economically unstable time was not attractive for any investments. Few investment projects were initiated challenging some few opportunities for growth and jobs. The most prominent investment, among the largest ever taking place in Greece, is the large-scale gold mining and metallurgy project going currently on in northern Greece. The business and operational plan in place anticipates mining of three world-class ore deposits, followed up by mineral processing and metallurgy. The commercially marketable commodities being produced are zinc and lead concentrates, and those about to be produced are copper and gold metals. The permitting procedures, including the Environmental Impact Study and the technical plan have been approved by the government authorities in charge.
Since the project started operating 10 years ago, it enabled progressive production figures, year after year, facilitated new job opportunities and contributed to growing local economies. Today more than 2.000 full-time employees are directly supported in the three mining and exploration areas, while additional 2.500-3.000 persons are supported indirectly as a result of multiplier impacts throughout the economy.
The mining activities have for some years now facing the reactions and opposition from mainly one local community, and activist groups coming along from other parts of the country. They state environmental and ecological awareness issues, but the main reasons are local economy and political interests. These groups received also strong political support by the parties recently elected in the government, since the time they were in opposition. Upon this fact, the Minister in charge decided recently to redraw some of the permits making clear that his government will stop the investment and close the mine operations sending 2 000 workers to unemployment and converting productive economy employment to social-dependent misery.
In the Juncker’s EU investment plan,
• Through Raw Materials Initiative (RMI) mineral resources are placed in the top of EU’s growth agenda and 2020 industrial strategy, having competitiveness, sustainable development and jobs in focus.
• The overall objective of the RMI is to contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 goal of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth via helping to realize a green economy, i.e. a circular economy in sync with the natural environment. Environmental and resource pressures are increasingly threatening economic growth, EU competitiveness and prosperity. In future, sustained prosperity and ecological and social welfare will depend on increasing resource productivity, underpinned by R&I. This objective supports the Europe 2020 Innovation Union and Resource Efficiency Flagship initiatives.
• The strategic implementation plan of European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials has in place 94 R&I actions to be financed by Horizon 2020, and other funding schemes, aiming at new technology and production developments across the minerals value chain to promote resource efficiency and secure raw materials supply in Europe.
• Most of the EU countries, such as Finland, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Ireland, go along this line and take actions in favor of new mining investments, turning out to become important global miners.
• Environmental and public awareness issues received growing attention by the EU policy makers, putting into implementation new legislations and directives addressing re-use and recycling as part of an efficient waste management approach and as input to circular economy practices
• The fact that reforms in Greece should include and be relied on ongoing investments, such as the gold mining and metallurgy project in Halkidiki, which already contributes to jobs and creates new working opportunities, social wellbeing and growing economies.
There should be clear messages to the Greek government that,
• Economic contribution of the mining industry , in terms of estimated economy-wide expenditure impact, is supporting directly and indirectly more than 5.000 regional jobs
• The economic value-added contribution of the minerals mining and exploration industry to the Greek economy is expected to be considerable and far-reaching
• Greece needs strong, competitive industries that punch above their weight in the international arena. The Greek Mining industry could become a significant global player in terms of zinc, lead, copper, gold, silver output.
• The existing figures indicate that this highly-paid employment within the mining and exploration sector takes place in the regional economy making it all the more valuable at a local level, especially in the context of the high unemployment rates prevailing across many sectors of the economy at this time. This feature may help address the regional challenge for Government in job creation.”
• The Minister however stated that it isn’t Government policy to support this investment, and that might also affect search for, and responsible development of, further mineral resources so that these positive impacts can continue to be enjoyed in the future.
• At EU scale, exploitation of the world-class Greek mineral resources could certainly contribute to secure raw materials supply and place Europe in the technological forefront towards a competitive and sustainable mining industry.

By Nikolaos Arvanitidis, Economic Geologist (PhD, Stockholm University) at the Greek Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration(IGME) http://nikolaosarvanitidis.eu/?p=427

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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 (https://authsegen.wordpress.com/ )




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A new Sudbury company hopes to make it easier for mines to use drones and autonomous vehicles underground thanks to 3D mapping technology.

Syed Naeem Ahmed, a physicist who worked in Sudbury’s underground neutrino laboratory for five years, started Clickmox Solutions after his work with that project ended.

“We want to be the go-to place for innovative products and technologies,” he said in his office at the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology.

Automation improves productivity and makes mines safer by not placing workers in risky situations. But the industry still has a long way to go before automated vehicles become commonplace in most mines.

One of the big hurdles is navigation.

Drones typically use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to know where they are and where they’re going.

But GPS, which uses a network of satellites to pinpoint location, isn’t possible in an underground mine.

The solution is to use 3D scanning technology to create digital maps of underground mines.

Autonomous machines can then have those maps uploaded to their memories, and know exactly where they are in the mine. They can then move around without bumping into walls or other objects.

Most 3D mapping solutions, however, can cost more than $250,000 and weigh three kilograms or more.

Through Clickmox, Ahmed and his team have worked to develop a low-cost system that is much lighter, and can be attached to a drone so it knows exactly where it’s going in real-time.

Using off-the-shelf parts, they’ve taken a relatively cheap 2D laser scanner, and have attached it to a small pivoting platform. The motion from the platform adds the third dimension.

Clickmox has also developed an algorithm in-house to make sense of the data the scanner collects and create detailed 3D maps that are accurate up to one centimetre.

The company is still working on patenting the technology, but sees it as a game changer for underground automation.

Ahmed said they could sell individual scanning systems for around $4,000.

The uses for 3D scanning in a mine go beyond navigation. His team has modified a small drone so it can carry a 3D scanner.

The drone can be flown underground, and using the laser scanner can inspect mine drifts – a job that is currently done manually.

Workers inspect and measure mine drifts on a regular basis for safety, to see if any changes have happened over time.

The drone could do the same work more efficiently and with more accuracy, Ahmed said, without risking human lives in the process.

It could instantly compare its latest measurements to past ones. Those changes would be reported to a manager, and the proper precautions could be taken if any inconsistencies are found.

Clickmox has also worked with Glencore on a small robot that can clear boreholes – vertical holes used to transport materials from the surface to the lower levels in a mine.

The robot is equipped with a drill which it uses to break apart rock-clogging boreholes.

Clickmox currently has five employees, but Ahmed has ambitious plans for the company.

He wants to eventually extend into manufacturing, to build the devices it designs.

As an adjunct professor at Laurentian University, an important goal for Ahmed is creating more high-tech jobs and taking in students for placement opportunities.



Clickmox president Syed Naeem Ahmed shows a 3D scanner his company can use to map mines to make it possible for autonomous vehicles to find their way underground.

http://www.northernontariobusiness.com/, By: Jonathan Migneault, May 2015

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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: www.scribd.com, 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.

http://www.sme.gr/proionta-sme-orykta/50-xrysos 3.

http://www.oryktosploutos.net/2011/05/blog-post_04.html 4.



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At the birthplace of the philosopher Aristotle, Ancient Stageira, located close to Olympiada, Chalkidiki , at North Greece, where culture and mining are coexisting since ancient times, the Archeological Service of Halkidiki and Mount Athos, has organized a three-day event, on the 5th, 6th and 7th of June, at the archeological site of Ancient Stageira in Olympiada, Chalkidiki, titled “Green Cultural Routs”.

This is a communicative action that is conducted by the Directorate of Museums of the Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs, in several archeological sites and museums across Greece, on the occasion of World Environment day on the 5th of June.

Throughout the three-day event, from 9:00 to 20:00, will be organized tours for the young students and the adult visitors, at the archeological site performed by qualified staff of our service.

The aim of this action is to familiarize the local community with the antiquities, and to introduce the Greek and foreign visitors with the archeological site, part of which has been recently given to public. By that, the birthplace of Aristotle will become a point of attraction for the tourists.

Each tour will last approximately one and a half hours, depending on the mood of the visitors. The routs have been designed in such ways so that visitors will be able to enjoy outstanding wooded landscape and the antiquities, which are reveled through it. During the guided tour, both adults and children will be encouraged to talk to, to touch and to “read” the antiquities, in an attempt to turn the  “silent” stones into storytellers, the ruins into a monument and the unfamiliar into familiar.

The meetings will be held at the welcome reception of the main entrance at the archeological site. Apart from Greek, tours can be held in English and in French.

Phone contact: 6974 407516

E-mail: kpapastathis@culture.gr

Contact person: Konstantinos Papastathis, Archeologist.

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As it was published at kathimerini newspaper on the 22/05/2015, the relationship between the workers at Chalkidiki Mines and the ministry of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy seem to have been deescalated. The Three worker unions have happily announced the commitment of the Alternate Minister, Giannis Tsironis, to conduct a meeting, at Cassandra Mines, on the 2nd of June, were representatives from the Ministry, “Hellas Gold” and mine employees will participate.

The Unions, based on the subject, issued the below statement:

“After five months of actions, protests and meetings, we managed to reveal the true face of NE Halkidiki and we showed that we decide for the future of our country. We were not frightened and we did not retreat. Our fight was and will remain continuous and rigid.

On the 20th of May 2015, we met once again with the Alternate Minister of Productive reconstruction, Environment and Energy, Mr. Yannis Tsironis, at his office. Without misinterpreting his “unexpected objections-such as, his persistence in meeting with only one of our representatives- and without considering his attitude as an attempt to avoid us, we insisted and we managed once again to come face to face with him.

We demonstrated again all of our concerns and everything that is being risked in our region and we stressed out for the obvious obligation of the minister, to face with seriousness the mining development in Halkidiki.

The meeting was fruitful and we have the first commitment of the minister for the meeting on the 2nd of June in Cassandra mines between the representatives of the Ministry, the “Hellas Gold” and the Mine employees.

We sought for it, we fought for it, we succeeded and this dialogue is underway. A dialogue for our country, our mines and our lives!

We hope and we expect that this burden of uncertainty that we are all experiencing lately is about to end and it is our belief, stronger than ever, that our Struggle will be justified.”

Kathimerini, 22/05/2015

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The European Parliament voted (to the surprise of many) for tougher monitoring of the  imports in E.C. grounds of all the products that contain “conflict metals”.  As we read at The Gurdian,

European gold, tantalum (the material that makes mobile phones vibrate), tungsten and tin imports from conflict zones will be subjected to tougher surveillance procedures under a new regulation adopted by the European parliament on Wednesday.

MEPs in Strasbourg voted to enforce an obligatory monitoring system for the whole supply chain of “conflict minerals”, affecting 800,000 European companies.

Mineral importers, smelters and refineries, but also manufacturers of consumer products such as mobile phones, tablets, washing machines, will have to ensure that revenues from the minerals they use are not funding conflicts.

The bill is largely aimed at Africa, where minerals play a role in several violent conflicts. The Great Lakes region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is particularly affected by the phenomenon. Mineral production accounts for an average of 24% of gross national product in African countries, and is implicated in no fewer than 27 conflicts on the continent.

The surprise vote, led in large part by the European parliament’s leftist parties, has strongly reinforced the European commission’s proposal, which was initially based on a voluntary system.

It also went beyond the proposal of the European parliament’s international trade committee, whose members had hoped to oblige only European smelters and refineries to source their materials responsibly.

Marie Arena, the socialists and democrats (S&D) group’s spokesperson on conflict minerals, said: “The regulation voted through today is a historic victory that puts the respect of human rights above the profit of companies. Europe can become a pioneer in the field of ethical economy.”

But the regulation still has a long road to travel. The bill’s slim majority in the European parliament pushed MEPs to opt for quick negotiations with the other institutions (the council and commission) before making their formal decision during the first reading. This is a very unusual procedure.

Iuliu Winkler of the European People’s Party (EPP), the bill’s rapporteur, said: “Unfortunately, the divisions, which were already clear in the vote in the international trade committee, dominated the plenary vote. We are heading towards a complicated negotiation process.”

Among the primary concerns expressed by conservatives was the effect the regulation would have on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “Implementing such an obligation on the supply chain is utopian and impracticable, especially for SMEs,” said EPP member Franck Proust.

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group highlighted the negative impact the regulation could have on the legitimate trade of minerals in war-torn regions. The British Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin said that “businesses who cannot afford the mandatory requirements, or get the verification they need, [may] seek to source minerals from elsewhere”.

The path travelled by the conflict minerals bill has already been a rocky one, beset by pressure from big business lobbies. The French business group Medef contacted MEPs before this week’s plenary session to warn them of the potentially costly consequences of a binding system that covers the whole supply chain. “The lobbies pushed their interests very strongly with the rapporteurs,” the Green MEP Yannick Jadot confirmed.

“The extension of the regulation’s scope to all actors would be inefficient, impracticable and unreliable. Such an extension would engender very significant costs, particularly for small businesses: disproportionate compared to the expected results,” Medef stated in its document, seen by EurActiv.

The French Socialist MEP Édouard Martin told the press: “I accuse Medef of having placed a price on human life.”




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The Public Power Corporation’s investment for the construction at Ptolemaida of a coal power plant of 800 MW, which will cost 1.3 billion euros, continues  after the approval by Productive Reconstruction minister Panagiotis Lafazanis.

From Kozani, where he toured  the DEI plants, the minister announced that he signed a few days earlier the first licenses for the unit’s construction, making clear that the government supports its implementation and will make any effort to be complete as soon as possible.

These are statements that were made a few days before the 29th of March expiration of the contractual obligation of the license approval and while during the previous period the environmental organization WWF engaged in a campaign for the cancellation of the investment.

However, the minister hastened to publicly take position highlighting that the government supports the construction of Ptolemaida 5, which will include the latest technology in pollution control, and will have less effect on the environment than traditional units. The unit will make use of German equipment, since its construction is done by the consortium of the company TRENA with the subcontractors of Hitachi Power, Hitachi Ltd and Hamon Environmental GmbH.

For some time, the Japanese company has taken control of the German Babcock, which is set to provide the main part of equipment of Ptolemaida 5. In order to fund the operation, the PPC has ensured, since 2013, a debenture loan of 739 million euros by the consortium of foreign banks under the German development bank kWF Ipex Bank.

in.gr, 26-03-2015

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