Bentonite has been mined on Milos since 1952. The deposits occur almost exclusively in the northeast of the island. Here there are several active mines next to each other, including Imerys’ Aggeria Mine, which has existed since 1985 and which is the biggest bentonite mine in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. To be precise, there are two overlapping mines, so they are often spoken of as the Aggeria and Agia Irini Mines. This very deep mine, which reaches almost down to sea level, yields about 1 million tonnes of bentonite a year, a large part of the total production on Milos.
Imerys’ Aggeria and Agia Irini Mines
Besides other smaller Imerys mines, there are another two bentonite mines operated by the firms of Elliniki Metalleftiki (Greek Mining Ltd.) and Süd Chemie Hellas. All the above-mentioned bentonite mines are strung out more or less in a line between Mytakas and the east coast. Astonishingly, the glossy leaflet that you can obtain from the Mining Museum makes no sense at all in this regard.
Elliniki Metalleftiki (Greek Mining Ltd.)’s bentonite mine
Süd Chemie Hellas’ bentonite mine
Because of Imerys’ dominant position it is difficult to tell which of the competing companies can really hold its own in the market and whether ores are still being continuously extracted from their mines. There are definitely closed bentonite mines on the Plain of Komia and one of these has been turned into a striking groundwater lake.
Closed bentonite mine with groundwater lake
On the plain of Komia