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Cyprus to get first new copper mine in decades

the apliki village in the nicosia district
The Apliki village in the Nicosia district

Venus Minerals and Hellenic Copper Mines have agreed on a partnership for the creation of a copper mine in Apliki, a village in the Nicosia district.

In an announcement released on Tuesday, the two companies stated that they have both signed a binding preliminary agreement for the development of a licensed mine in Apliki, a region with rich copper deposits.

While the project will be managed and spearheaded by Venus Minerals, the two mining companies will have equal stakes in the partnership.

The deal is expected to progress from this preliminary agreement to a fully negotiated and agreed-upon contract in November of this year.

“This partnership will benefit from the know-how of Hellenic Copper Mines and the experience gained through the operation of the neighbouring mine of Skouriotissa and the extraction of ores in the area, as well as in the field of civil engineering and the application of the copper ore extraction method,” a statement said.

The Skouriotissa copper mine is considered to be one of the oldest operational mines in the world.

It had originally ceased operations in 1993, with mining company Hellenic Ltd suspending its recovering of copper from leaching waste, but operations at the site resumed in 1996.

According to the announcement, all relevant permits have already been obtained, while the development of the mine is expected to start in February of 2022.

“We are pleased with this partnership with Hellenic Copper Mines, but we are also pleased to contribute to the development of the first copper mine in Cyprus since the 1990s,” Venus Minerals Managing Director Peter van der Borgh said.

“Venus Minerals is planning its entry into the London Stock Exchange by the end of the year, something which will provide an additional push to the project,” van der Borgh added.

“We are very pleased to conclude this agreement with Venus Minerals and we are confident that by joining forces we can achieve the rapid development of the mine,” Hellenic Copper Mines CEO Georgios Kalogeropoulos said.

Recently, Venus Minerals conducted exploratory drilling at Kokkinoyia as part of its Magellan Project, confirming gold deposits in all drill holes, identifying the deposits as a mixture of copper, gold and zinc.

The results were confirmed by Ariana Resources PLC, which has an agreement with Venus Minerals currently entitling them to 37.5 per cent of revenue, with this figure rising to 50 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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