Trachilas Vineyard

Vineyards in the service of mine closure

2014
Greece

Summary

In Milos, the conventional reclamation practice changed into a new economic & environmentally friendly activity. IMERYS establishes a vineyard in the already rehabilitated perlite mine on Milos Island, reintroducing a traditional activity. Starting from February 2014, approximately 22,300 vines were planted in a total area of 63.1 acres. In August 2016, the first vine harvest was conducted at Milos’ Vineyard. 300 kilos of grapes were turned into wine and the first bottling of wine production took place within 2017. This is remarkable given the fact that the Thrachilas mine is still active in other parts, where the extraction of perlite is still taking place.

Description

An innovative reclamation approach was followed in the perlite mine in Milos island by IMERYS Industrial Minerals Greece S.A. A rehabilitated part of an active perlite mine in Trachilas was converted to Vineyards with the goal to create a dynamic ecosystem and minimize the visual disturbance of a mining activity, which is having a positive result on the local community's welfare. The successful transformation of a closed perlite mine on Milos Island to a new financial activity via viticulture took place in 2014. Through the Vineyard project, the environment is protected and preserved with the application of an organic cultivation method. Moreover, irrigation water is recycled, which is an aspect of high value in the Cyclades, which are characterized by long summer droughts.  Four free training seminars, with approximately 300 participants, have been already organised for the local community, encouraging Milos’ residents to revive small family vineyards using organic agricultural methods. Education on the use of industrial minerals is also encouraged, as a number of minerals from Milos are used in viticulture and wine production. More specifically, bentonite is used for wine stabilization, while perlite is used in wine clarification. Finally, the activity also contributes to “alternative” tourism on the island, attracting visitors interested in wine making and winetasting.

Impact on the mining value chain

  • MINE CLOSURE / WASTE management (incl. Permitting)

Mine closure / Waste

  • mine site reclamation/rehabilitation for subsequent uses

Linked policies

Transferability

Build on company's good reputation; Become an additional tool for long-standing contribution to tourism on the island

Impact area(s): 

Area: 
Ecosystem services and quality of natural resources
Impact on listed area: 

+: Promoting the protection and conservation of the environment through the organic cultivation applied method 

Area: 
Human/Social, Education and skills
Impact on listed area: 

+: Free training seminars on vine cultivation methods have been offered to locals; Educational activities for visitors about industrial that are almost everywhere in everyday-life, even in wine-production ( i.e sulfur use for protection of the crop from disease in organic winegrowing, bentonite use for wine stabilization, perlite use in wine clarification etc.)

Area: 
Economic, Employment
Impact on listed area: 

+: New jobs have been created  

Area: 
Economic, Financial flows and profitability
Impact on listed area: 

+: Establishing an activity that  adds an economic value to the local community

Area: 
Economic, Competitiveness
Impact on listed area: 

+: Contribution to tourism on the island, attracting visitors that are interested in wine-making and wine-tasting

Innovation drivers and barriers
Drivers
Other
The Company’s Initiative for an environmentally friendly activity at the site of a restored perlite mine, assessed by business plan and feasibility study, has strong impact on building on IMERYS’s good reputation as a local corporate citizen.

Good practice areas

Economic sustainability
A new financial activity (viticulture) in combination with tourism
Environmental sustainability
Protection and conservation of the environment through the organic cultivation method which is applied
Environmental sustainability
Water recycling (derived from the island’s aquifer)

Organisations involved

IMERYS Industrial Minerals Greece S.A (S&B Group Sustainable Development Department)

Innovation category

Marketing