Sterea Ellada

About Sterea Ellada

About the Region

The Region of Sterea Ellada is the second largest Greek region, occupying the eastern half of Central Greece, including the island of Evia inhabitants and the capital city is Lamia. The Region is divided into five peripheral units: Viotia, Evia, Evritania, Fthiotida and Fokida, with a total area of 15,549 sq. km. (11.8% of the total area of the country). In 2017, the recorded population was 555,761.

The region of Sterea Ellada is located in the centre of Greece and is bordering in the north with the region of Thessalia, in the west with the region of Western Greece, and in the south with the region of Attica. It has access on both the Aegean and the Ionian seas from the east and west respectively. The combination of continental and island features makes this region extremely interesting in terms of geomorphological, socio-economic and cultural features, thus creating a set of advantages.

Sterea Ellada is characterized as a region of contrasts both in terms of geography, as well as social and economic conditions: because of its richness in mineral resources, industrial and mining sectors co-exist with agricultural activities and dynamic tourism industry.

The Mining and Metallurgy Industry

The region of Sterea Ellada is one of the strongest mining regions in Greece and holds the largest deposits of bauxite in Europe. The region also has significant deposits of mineral raw materials, such as nickel, magnesite and chromite, which contributed to the creation of dynamic mining sites, as well as marbles and other decorative stones.

With regard to bauxite deposits, Greek bauxite is classified as karst-type deposited in limestone rocks and is of the monohydrate type (diaspor 70%, boehmite 30%). The leading bauxite producer and trading company IMERYS INDUSTRIAL MINERALS GREECE S.A., Delphi Distomon, S.A. and ELMIN S.A. use the greater part of bauxite as a raw material, in order to produce aluminum and alumina. The domestic production uses bauxites in cement, steel, and foundries and the rest of the bauxite is exported. The most important consumer of Greek bauxite is Aluminum S.A. ("Aluminum of Greece"), that processes most of the raw material at its industrial complex at Aghios Nikolaos and consumes more than 75% of the Greek production of bauxite ore for use in the industry and constructions.

Besides the bauxite deposits, nickeliferous laterites are located in the Region of Sterea Ellada. The Greek laterites are exploited by the nickel-producing company LARCO G.M.M.S.A., which is the most important metallurgical company in producing Fe-Ni alloy in Greece, with the company mines located at Agios Ioannis (peripheral unit of Viotia) and Evia. As for the magnesite, one of the companies that are occupied with the exploitation of magnesite is Terna Magnesite S.A., a recently established mining company that began mining activities and it is situated in North Evia.

Mineral Deposits and Metallurgy Production Sites

With regards to Greek bauxite, the basic raw material for the production of alumina and aluminium, Greece ranks 12th largest bauxite mine producer worldwide, but it is a leading bauxite producer in the EU with an annual production of 1,800 thousand metric dry tons in 2017. Bauxite is the basic raw material for the production of alumina (hydrated, anhydrous) and aluminium, making it imperative for the Greek aluminium industry and the measured deposits of bauxites reserves are estimated to be about 250,000 thousand metric dry tons (250 Mt of bauxite), while localization of the major bauxite deposits is in central Greece, within the Parnassos-Ghiona geotectonic zone and on Evia Island.

Apart from bauxite, the Region of Sterea Ellada has significant deposits of mineral raw materials, such as nickel, magnesite and chromite. In 2017, the annual production of magnesite in a country’s level was recorded to 442.7 thousand t, while the same production for Fe-Ni alloy and Ni in Fe-Ni alloy was 86.1 and 16.8 thousand t, respectively. Regarding the magnesite and nickel, resources at the Region of Sterea Ellada are estimated about 280 Mt and 1.5 Mt (metal, Ni content of ferronickel) respectively. 

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