The community of Mathiatis is considered a place of great archaeological, geological and historical importance, mainly due to the village’s two mines. The gold mine dates all the way back to 600 B.C and it is located south of the community, on the foothills of mountain “Stroggylos”, while the newer gold, silver and iron mine is located north of the community.
The Mathiatis mines constitute part of the World Cultural Heritage, in fact the southern one, has been nominated as a UNESCO monument. The Geological importance of the mines is highlighted by the various geological studies conducted by students of over 30 different overseas Universities. The archaeological importance is also evident, with rare and unique findings in the entire Eastern Mediterranean region, found at the sites during the archaeological excavations conducted from time to time. The newer, northern mine constitutes the historical evolution of both mines and mining in our community and in Cyprus, which is highlighted in a documentary called “Memories of the Miners”.
In 1935, the research and mining activity in the area of the northern mine of Mathiatis began by an American company called Cyprus Mines Corporation (CMS), which was looking for gold deposits. Between 1935 and 1944, all mining companies intensively exploited the entire Troodos area for small gold deposits. The deposits were always close to the surface and therefore consisted of oxidised parts of sulphurous deposits. The total production from all over Cyprus rose to 167.000 ounces, 26.000 of which were actually extracted from the mines of Mathiatis. As a result of the gold extraction by CMC, a small cavity was created on the surface, on top of the present bigger cavity. Various geological researches conducted by CMC below the gold deposit have detected a sulphurous deposit of 4.000.000 tonnes, which mainly consisted of copper-free pyrite.
Due to the lack of financial potential as a result of the quality and quantity of the deposit, as well as because of the long distance from the enrichment premises (Xeros – Karavostasi), CMC was no longer interedtes in the deposit and sold the northern mine to Hellenic Copper Mines LTD (HCM), which gained control of the Mining Lease in 1965. HCM then exploited these deposits further, and produced and traded copper-free minerals and pyrites, which they exported from their premises in Vasiliko. HCM extracted a total of approximately 2 million tonnes of minerals until 1990, when the Mining Lease expired, and resulted in the large present cavity, which is actually a circular crater with a diameter of 350 metres and a depth of 85 metres.
Today, the northern mine attracts global interest and the area of the mine is full of scattered antiquities, with the most known one being the head of Bacchus, exhibited at the Archaeological Museum.