Insider Business Investment in alternative sectors can boost growth (opinion)

Investment in alternative sectors can boost growth (opinion)

Mining industry can become a significant contributor to the Cyprus economy

By Peter van der Borgh*

A crisis can often teach us valuable lessons or drive us to reassess our priorities and explore better strategies. The recent coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has undoubtedly disrupted daily life in many ways, while governments around the world have taken economic support measures in an effort to mitigate the aftermath. Although the extent of the damage will depend on how quickly the virus is contained, such a crisis serves as a reminder of the importance of diversifying financial portfolios, not only of individuals, but also of countries’ economies, in order to minimise their risks.

Cyprus has traditionally based its economy on services, and especially the tourism sector, which have helped the country through challenging times; following the events of 1974 and more recently following the 2013 financial crisis. Of course, industries such as tourism can be major pillars of economic growth, but at the same time they are vulnerable to various external factors such as economic downturns, political instability, natural disasters and most recently, a pandemic.

However, as in the cases of individual investors, the risk may be reduced by adding more assets that are not highly correlated with each other, to one’s portfolio. In this sense, the more diversified a state’s economy is, the safer it can be against unexpected risks that might affect certain industries.

While Cyprus’ current exports are mainly focused around pharmaceutical and agriculture products such as potatoes, citrus, halloumi cheese as well as cement, the country also has a long tradition of producing and exporting copper, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Although exploration and mining were limited following the events of 1974, significant technological advances in exploration, mining, environmental, and social management have occurred since. What is more, there are indications of substantial untapped deposits across the island and given that mining is a long-term employment and investment, its sustainable development can have a positive impact on the country’s economy, such as creating new employment opportunities, tax revenue and transferable skills and infrastructure.

In recent years especially, demand for copper has significantly increased because of the growing renewable energy sector and the efforts for decarbonisation. At the same time, future demand is expected to grow even further due to the development of electric transportation, the expansion of telecommunication networks and electricity infrastructure. Moreover, the current health crisis has shed light to particular properties of copper since copper and its alloys are natural antimicrobial materials.

When this crisis eventually comes to an end, new opportunities can emerge. Today, Cyprus has a comprehensive mining legislation framework, excellent infrastructure and local expertise to support exploration processes and mining developments. Venus Minerals is a leading exploration company based in Cyprus that is currently exploring for deposits of copper and gold on the island. We are confident that carefully selected projects and the utilisation of new technologies that have been developed over the years, can lead to the exploitation of reserves of old mines and the discovery of new ones, with minimal impact on the environment, thus, making the mining industry a significant contributor to the Cyprus’ economy.

*Managing Director, Venus Minerals Ltd

Top Stories

Health Minister to announce path of relaxation of covid measures on Wednesday

Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou on Wednesday will announce the way the strict coronavirus measures now in effect in Cyprus will be gradually relaxed after...

Scientists in Greece find 20 million year-old petrified tree

Greek scientists on the volcanic island of Lesbos say they have found a rare fossilized tree whose branches and roots are still intact after...

Turkey bans parties at ski resorts after Covid curfew backlash

Turkey has banned music and parties at ski resorts after footage of crowded party scenes provoked anger in a country which has endured two months...

EMGF Agreement set to be ratified on Thursday

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday decided to speed up the ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Statute of the East Mediterranean...

Rain on the way all across Cyprus, snow on Troodos mountain

Rain all across Cyprus is on the way and so is snowfall on Troodos mountain, according to the Mediterranean island’s Met Office. The depth of...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...