IMERYS Industrial Minerals Greece Single-Member Société Anonyme

Relocation of an ancient structure in Milos - Mining goes hand in hand with cultural heritage.

The goal of the initiative was to relocate the ancient structure in cooperation with Greek Archaeological Authorities in order to safeguard a historical cultural monument and at the same time secure the viability of bentonite mining.

Local society of Milos and visitors of the island, people of all ages.

Αncient tank discovered in May 2012 and relocated in November 2018.

In 2012, at the Aggeria bentonite mine where Imerys operates, a 2,700 years old ancient tank was revealed. Clay jars with relief decoration and amphorae from the 6th-5th centuries BCE were also discovered, indicating that the site had been a craft industry for products exported from Milos. 

After the ancient structure was fully exposed and 5 years of research, archaeological authorities approved its relocation 300 m. to the eastern boundaries of the adjacent mine, where it would not hinder the Aggeria mine’s expansion southwards in the medium term. Under the guidance of Dimitris Korres, architect specializing in the relocation of antiquities, experts using special machinery carried out the move in November 2018. The project’s success was crucial.

This large-scale project proves the company's devotion to Corporate Social Responsibility and the local community, serving both the protection of the land and the needs of its people. From May to July 2019, 200 people, students and teachers, islanders and tourists, visited the new archaeological site. They admired the relocated tank and the restored findings which are part of the cultural heritage of the island, and they learned about the uses of bentonite in modern life.

Cooperation with the Greek Archaeological Authorities in order to relocate the tank 300 m. to the east.

Mining Department

Aggeria Bentonite Mine, Milos

The initiative is integrated to the local context through several factors:

(1) by demonstrating respect for local cultural heritage through close collaboration with archaeological authorities,

(2) by ensuring job sustainability in the mines and operations in general,

(3) by proving to third parties that both goals could be achieved without conflict (protection of both mining and cultural heritage),

(4) By providing sustainability in the future through the attraction of visitors and cultural engagement activities.

This initiative creates positive impact for Imerys and society at large by demonstrating the company's devotion to social contribution with actions to protect and promote the environment and the country's cultural heritage.

It was a unique undertaking carried out for the first time on the island of Milos, with the use of experts and machinery brought specifically for this task. The funds that were allocated to all related works for archaeological investigation and research promoted sustainability: on the one hand releasing space for future mining and on the other hand safeguarding the ancient findings at sites provided by the company to archaeological services for maintenance and further use.