The year 2015 is expected to bring similar results with the previous fiscal year in the mineral resources sector in Greece, mutatis mutandis, in accordance with the assessment of the Greek Mining Enterprises Association.
This year proceeds with a pent-up demand, limited fall of prices and striking differences across markets (EU, US, Asia). These data are not good, but a balance is achieved through advantages, such should be considered the decline in the euro-dollar exchange rate, the fall in oil prices and the significant drop in ocean freight rates, which influence the rates of exportable products. However, low freight rates enable the sales increase in low-cost producers as well, thus intensifying competition. On the other hand, there are many outstanding issues within the country, such as the full implementation of the national policy for the exploitation of mineral resources, the horizontal integration of national policy guidelines for the mineral wealth in all individual policies and planning and the drawing up of special spatial planning for its mineral wealth. What is more, many other issues remain unresolved such as the provision of information to local communities about the importance of mining industry to regional development, the promotion of new investments through tenders of allocation of available public mining concessions, the law codification on mining activities, as well as the operation of the constituted forum for the implementation of the national policy. Furthermore, the mining companies are waiting for the adoption of the new draft Quarry Bill and the support of the industry through the Development Law.
Production, Investment and Business Practice: The mining industry, cumulatively the years 2009-2014, in the midst of the economic crisis, has a total turnover of 15 billion over the whole six years. At the same time it has invested in research and development of products an amount that exceeds 100,000,000 euros. Moreover, during these years it has made investments of more than 2 billion in new projects, new equipment, and modernization of production and waste management methods or recovery of by-products. The key business activities include also the reinstatement and restoration of the environment in the mining site when mining activity has ended. In this context, according to figures provided by the Greek Mining Enterprises Association, 3 million trees have been planted and 79 million euros have been spent in restoration, maintenance and care of restored sites from 2007 to 2014. Specifically, based on data of 25 member companies of the Greek Mining Enterprises Association, the production of ores, industrial minerals, product of the mechanical enrichment processing, metallurgical products and marbles went in most cases up. At the same time, there have been significant changes in major categories of metals.