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The Mineral and Groundwater Resources

 Directly associated with the Troodos Ophiolite are the massive sulphide (e.g. pyrite, chalcopyrite), chromite and asbestos mineral deposits. These ore deposits were formed in different stratigraphic units of the ophiolite (lavas, dunite and harzburgite respectively) and came to the surface as a result of its uplift. The exposure of the ore bodies to the surface, and especially that of massive sulphides, resulted in the discovery and exploitation of copper since the ancient times.  

 Cyprus also has significant industrial mineral deposits.  The main industrial minerals include gypsum (used in the cement production), clays for the production of bricks and tiles, umber, ochre and terra verde (natural pigments), marls and chalks (cement production), bentonitic clays (various industrial uses), building stone, celestite, and magnesite.  

 With the development of the construction industry the demand for aggregates (gravel and sand) for the production of concrete has increased.  Today, the production of aggregates derives from crushing diabase and carbonate rocks (reef limestone and calcarenite).

 The groundwater resources of Cyprus depend mainly on rainfall and the ability of the aquifers to store and transmit water.  The main aquifers are developed in areas of clastic deposition and chiefly in broad valleys and river deltas. Such aquifers are those of western and eastern Mesaoria, Akrotiri and Paphos.  Aquifers are also developed in porous rocks such as calcarenites, in limestones and gypsum that are characterised by karst (i.e. dissolution from water), and in fractured rocks such as the Troodos Ophiolite rocks (especially in the gabbros).

 

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