Gypsum Quarry (Altsi)

The gypsum quarry is located at Altsi, Sitia Municipality, Crete and has been owned by LAVA SA since 1980. It is an opencast quarry, operated following the method of exposed vertical benches.

How gypsum quarry operates

The primary product (a mix of gypsum and anhydrite) is extracted using explosives, then loaded onto wheel loaders and transported to the crusher by trucks. Next, the material is crushed in an open circuit in a vibrating crusher and stocked on an outdoor pile through belt conveyors. The material is then loaded by means of loaders onto vessels through a series of belt conveyors and chutes that lead to the private port facilities.

The quarry’s production capacity is 300,000 tons/year. Loading facilities’ capacity serves vessels up to a tonnage of 6500 tons at a loading rate of 700 tons/hour.

The process of loading vessels with bulk gypsum complies with the requirements of the ISO 9001:2008 standard.
(Quality Certificate attached)

Committed to sustainable development

The gypsum quarry is constantly upgraded and improved on annual basis. Activities mainly focus on enhancing employees’ and contractors’ Health and Safety, reducing the environmental footprint and ensuring the quarry’s sound environmental management and operation, based on Sustainable Development principles. The commitment of the quarry’s people is essential for the success of the broader "Sustainability Ambitions 2012" project on sustainable development of Heracles Group.

Health and Safety: Top priority

Occupational Health and Safety of employees and contractors are fundamental values and key priorities in all LAVA’s activities. Like all other company facilities, the quarry has been applying Lafarge Group’s Health and Safety policy with zero accident target since 2006. Systematic efforts in the past few years have led to considerable progress and a continuous improvement in Health and Safety issues.The policy involves measures regarding equipment, use of Personal Protective Equipment, Standards and Procedures for all tasks executed and appropriate training programmes to foster a common understanding of a safe behaviour.

Improving environmental performance

Sound environmental management and the quarry's upgrading are daily priorities. Under “Sustainability Ambitions 2012”, the quarry has been implementing a specific action plan that focuses on:reducing its environmental footprint by restoring the landscape (quarry rehabilitation), protecting marine biodiversity in the broader vessel-loading area (through anti pollution plans and Vessel Waste Management Plans) and recycling the batteries and lubricants of vehicles and equipment.


Health and Safety

Health and Safety are top priorities for LAVA S.A. The company implements a stringent safety policy for its employees and contractors.


For the implementation of our Health and Safety policy, we take measures that concern the necessary means, equipment and infrastructure for a safe working place; apply Standards and Procedures for each task performed; and organise training courses to foster a common safety understanding and behaviour among all employees.