ECONOMY

Gov?t seeks gold in mineral wealth studies

The government has dusted off a number of unused studies on the country?s mineral wealth by the Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration (IGME) in its efforts to put the country back on the road to growth.

Just a few days after stating in Parliament that confirmed mineral reserves in Greece are valued at 38 billion euros in current prices, Deputy Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis signed a decision for the establishment of a committee to study all available data from the ministry and IGME for the utilization of the country?s mineral wealth.

The committee will have to evaluate the more than 20 state mines that had been leased to private investors in the past but are now inactive, as well as the over 70 mining spots singled out by the state and all industrial mineral quarries which have already been studied by IGME.

It will then proceed to their classification, breaking them down into groups for immediate exploitation, those requiring further research and those that cannot be utilized.

The decision foresees that the work of the committee will help develop a clear general picture regarding the leasing potential of state mines either through direct concession of contracts or with tender proclamations according to the existing law.

The committee will also create a list featuring state quarries of industrial minerals to be forwarded to the regional authorities so that they can proceed with tenders for their lease.

The committee will be presided over by Olympia Tsagarakou, head of the ministry?s General Directorate of Natural Wealth, and will have to complete its work by the end of April.