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Introduction

 

Cyprus has both metallic and non-metallic (industrial) mineral resources.  The metallic mineral resources are associated with the Troodos Ophiolite Complex and include chromite and sulphide deposits (pyrite and copper ores).  These deposits have been formed in different stratigraphic horizons of the ophiolite and emerged on the surface as a result of the uplift of the ophiolite.  The surface exposition of the various metallic deposits, especially that of copper, has resulted in its exploitation since antiquity.  Cyprus is one of the first places on Earth that the exploitation, treatment and use of copper began.  The entire historical, social, cultural and political evolution of the island was closely associated with the exploitation of copper.

Cyprus is a synonym of copper.  Cuprum means copper in Latin.  Cuprum originates from the word cuprium, which means Cypriot (from Cyprus) and referred to copper from Cyprus (aes cuprium meaning Cypriot copper –aes is an older Latin word for copper).

Cyprus was also known in ancient times for its asbestos and its natural (mineral) pigments such as umbers and ochres.  Cyprus also has industrial minerals such as bentonite, gypsum, clay for the production of bricks and tiles, and raw materials for the production of cement and crushed aggregates.

 

 

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