A story of innovation and entrepreneurial action
Since around 1200BC, the Greeks have been drawing upon the rich natural resources of their country, especially in the mines of Laurium, near Athens. For some1,000 years, ending at around the 1st century A.D., the Laurium mines were the world’s largest individual source of silver production.
Building on this same heritage of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, the General Mining and Metallurgical Company - LARCO - was founded by the visionary business leader, Bodossakis in 1963. His acumen together with the knowledge and expertise of the personnel has seen the company overcome many difficulties to become, today, the largest European producer of ferronickel.
Key milestones along the way
1963: LARCO established by Bodossakis Athansiadis
1966: the company begins smelting plant ore from the Agios Ioannis deposit.
1968: during the 7 years to 1975, 2 villages are created for workers, with schools, creche facilities, sports fields, churches and community centres.
1969: the Evia mines begin to operate.
1970/72: 2 new rotary kilns are added to the production line, increasing annual production to about 15.000tn of nickel.
1976: LARCO becomes the first company to bring granulated ferronickel to the market.
1977: Europe’s largest continuous conveyor belt of 7.5km is built to transport ore from the mines to the sea for transport, creating huge financial and environmental savings
1979: an explosion in which 7 people die and 15 are seriously injured proves a turning point in safety considerations for the company. Greek mining safety regulations are now regarded as the strictest in Europe and LARCO places no obligation above that of safety.
1982: the Company goes under banks control, with the National Bank of Greece (NBG) holding the majority of the share capital.
1989: following the liquidation of old LARCO, the new LARCO is established with the major share holders: the NBG, Public Energy Corporation (DEH) and the Greek State.
1992: Larco was awarded ISO 9000 for the quality of the ferronickel product.
1996: The exploitation of the deposits of Ieropigi leads to the Kastoria mines exceeding over 15% of the factory’s total feed.
2000-01: Reconstruction and enlargement of electrical Furnace No.1 and No.4., from 30 MVA to 40MVA, result in increases in capacity. Implementation of a fuzzy-logic system in rotary kiln No.1. New slag granulation unit. New enlarged slag sinking tank is constructed with a magnetic separation unit and relevant infrastructure for land disposal of the slag.
2004: LARCO again returns to a profit surplus.
2005: Major reconstruction and full modernisation of electrical Furnace No.2.
2006: LARCO head office moves to Maroussi on the outskirts of Athens. Major reconstruction and full modernisation of electrical Furnaces No.3 and No.5 to be complete by the end of year.
2007: Foundation of the two affiliated companies of Larco, LarcoEnergy and LarcoDomi
2010: Larco by the second semester of 2010 re-operated in full capacity. Company suceeded functional profitability.