With surprises hidden around just about every corner of Cyprus, there is also beauty to be found in the most unusual places. And the abandoned site of Kokkinoyia is a prime example of this. Tucked away in the forested area of Mitsero, the fascinating place sheds light on the island’s fascinating copper mining history. After all, Cyprus’ name has long been linked to copper (Cuprum) and the island boasts an incredibly long mining history, dating way back to 3000 BC.
Ancient Cypriots were expert miners and managed to successfully locate all available copper deposits, extracting the best ones with underground and metallurgical methods. In the 20th century, attention turned to the Skouriotissa area (around 1921) with mining activity continuing at various locations around the island until the 1970s.
Head to Kokkinoyia mine today and you’ll come face to face with old mine cage equipment as well as part of the railway line where the ore-carrying wagons once ran.
This specific mine was in operation from 1973 -1979 and some 481, 000 tons of ore extracted using underground methods. It was then brought to the surface via a gallery (underground passage) and a mine-shaft. Processing then took place at an ore enrichment plant, while the end product was exported from Cyprus by ships which departed from Vasilikos.
With Kokkinoyia operated by the Hellenic Mining Company, by the late 1970s, low copper prices rendered copper mining unviable and non-profitable, and by 1979, the mine shut down for good.