Our History

LAVA Mining & Quarrying was established in 1952 to operate the pumice stone Municipal Quarry located on Yali island to the north of Nissiros. The company was integrated into Heracles Group in 1977 and began expanding to new activities in 1980 by acquiring the Gypsum Quarry at Altsi, Sitia. In 1989, LAVA began to operate the pozzolana rock quarry in Milos, while the silica sand quarry on the same island started operating in 1996. In 2001, HERACLES Group becomes a member of Lafarge Group, present in 64 countries and worldwide leader in building materials. From 2002 until 2011, LAVA developed aggregates trading in its unit in Almyros, Volos.

Employees from Nissyros arrive early in the morning to the quarry.


  • Foundation of the Company by ship-owner M. Nomikos

1952 - 1962
  • The building infrastructure for pumice stone quarry was constructed, equipment was bought to transport and process pumice stone and a cable mine wagon system was installed to load vessels

  • LAVA SA was integrated in HERACLES Group of Companies
  • A network of conveyor belts was installed to load vessels at a faster rate (1000tons/hour)

  • LAVA SA extends to new activities and acquires Gypsum quarry at Altsi, Sitia, Crete
Loading a vehicle from the pile Full wagons start from the loading station

1980 - 1988
  • New extraction methods are finalised for a) pumice stone using bulldozers and b) gypsum using vertical benches
  • Investments are made to renew and modernise mobile and fixed equipment in pumice stone and gypsum quarries, as well as to increase their production capacity
  • Production of Stone Wash-quality pumice stone for jeans begins
  • Gypsum quality export activities expand to Balkan and Middle Eastern countries

  • LAVA SA begins the operation of pozzolana rock quarry in Xilokeratia, Milos, investing 750 million Drachmas therein

1990 -1995
  • Pumice stone Quarry’s equipment is modernised and new building facilities are constructed
  • The company launches a co-operation with research and scientific institutions in Greece and abroad, concerning the development and utilisation of pumice stone qualities in new products and uses

  • LAVA absorbs “INDUSTRIAL MINERALS SA” and begins operation of Silica Sand quarry in Kastriani, Milos
Bulldozers The boats of the quarry

  • The company is awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for its pumice stone quarry
  • New infrastructures are built for gypsum quarry

  • Heracles Group of Companies becomes a member of LAFARGE Group that has a leading presence in 64 countries throughout the world, carrying out activities of producing and trading cement, concrete, gypsum and aggregates

  • LAVA SA develops activities of trading aggregates in Almyros, Magnesia

  • The company is awarded ISO 9001:2008 certification for its vessel-loading process in gypsum and pozzolana rock quarries

  • The company is awarded CE marking according to ΕΝ 13055-1:2002 and EN 13055-2:standards for its pumice stone quarry

  • Lafarge Beton takes over the activity of trading aggregates in Almyros Magnesia
Loading of the Dutch vessel "MEERDRECHT" Weigh of pumice stone samples

Nissiros Volcano
Nissiros volcano emerged from the sea 200,000 years ago to form a cone of land. As it continued to erupt over the following years, molten fragments of stone were released in the atmosphere, only to cool down again as they fell on the ground to eventually form layers of volcanic ash.

There are five calderas on Nissiros island. “Stefanos”, 260 metres wide and 30 metres deep, is one of the largest and best preserved hydrothermal craters in the world.

The volcano’s latest big eruption dates back to 1888, while a smaller one took place in 1933.