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Mine ‘Kokkinoantonis’

The community of Mathiatis is marked on the first explorers’ map as a place of archaeological and historical importance, which is directly linked to the village’s mines.

Two mines are located in the community. The most ancient one is dated back to 600 B.C. It is a gold mine located south of the community, on the foothills of mountain “Stroggylos”, whereas the newer gold, silver and iron mine is located north of the community. 

The Mathiatis mines constitute part of World Cultural Heritage, as this is verified by the fact that one of them, the southern one, has been nominated as a UNESCO monument. The importance of the mines is also stressed through the archaeological excavations conducted at the sites from time to time, which bring to light rare and unique in the entire Eastern Mediterranean region findings, as well as through the geological studies conducted by students of various overseas Universities. 

The newer mine (northern) constitutes the historical evolution of mines and mining both in our community and Cyprus, as this is presented in a documentary called “Memories of the Miners”.  

The research and mining activity in the area of the northern mine of Mathiatis began in November 1935 by an American company called Cyprus Mines Corporation (CMS) which was looking for gold deposits, as this is recorded in the documents and the rare photos kept in the Archives of the Mine Services.

During the years 1935 and 1944, that is before and after WWII, small gold deposits were intensively exploited in the entire Troodos region by all mining companies. The deposits were always close to the surface and therefore consisted of oxidised parts of sulphurous deposits.  The total production from all over Cyprus rose to 167.000 ounces, 26.000 of which were extracted from the mines of Mathiatis.  

As a result of the gold being extracted by CMC, a small cavity was created on the surface, on top of the present bigger cavity. Various geological researches conducted by CMC below the gold deposit have detected a sulphurous deposit of 4.000.000 tonnes, which mainly consisted of copper-free pyrite. Due to the lack of financial potential as a result of the quality and quantity of the deposit, as well as because of the long distance from the enrichment premises (Xeros – Karavostasi), CMC was not interested in the deposit and sold the northern mine to Hellenic Copper Mines LTD which gained control of the Mining Lease in 1965.   

The Hellenic Copper Mines exploited these deposits, produced and traded copper-free minerals and pyrites, which they exported from their premises in Vasiliko. HCM’s operations began from the small cavity that CMC had created during the extraction of gold and resulted in the large present cavity, which is actually a circular crater with a diameter of 350 metres and a depth of 85 metres. In total, HCM extracted approximately 2 million tonnes of minerals until 1990, when the Mining Lease expired.

Today, the northern mine attracts global interest and is the focus of studies conducted by more than 30 universities from abroad. The mine also attracts a lot of tourists, something which is proven by the frequent visits of tourists in the area. 

Finally, the area of the mine is full of scattered antiquities, with the most known one being the head of Bacchus, which is exhibited at the Archaeological Museum and which constitutes the emblem of the Cyprus Theatre Organisation.

 

 

 

 
 
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COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF MATHIATIS
Ethnomartyra Kyprianou 7
2568, Μathiatis
Τel. : 22540028
Fax : 22210479
Email : koinotiko.simvoulio.mathiati
@cytanet.com.cy
 
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