Eldorado Gold says it will no longer invest in its Greek mines, citing negative impact on its project schedules and costs caused by government delays in issuing permits and licenses.
The Canadian gold miner had earlier planned to invest on its operating mines, development projects and exploration assets which were to result in over thousand new jobs. A similar number of existing jobs are at a risk at the same time with the company deciding to suspend operations later in the month.
Eldorado Gold said that the Skouries and Olympias projects are being delayed due to the slow processing of routine permits and licences from the Greek Ministry of Energy and Environment and other government agencies. It revealed of making repeated attempts alongside its Greek subsidiary, Hellas Gold to engage the government constructively but in vain.
The company added that the delays have eventually hampered its ability to effectively move ahead with the development and operation of the two mining assets located in Halkidiki, northern Greece.
Eldorado stated that it has decided not to make any new investment into the Kassandra Mines made of the Olympias, Skouries and Stratoni assets in Halkidiki, the Perama Hill and Sapes projects in Thrace, and in any exploration activity in Greece.
However, it will bear the costs related to a care and maintenance program and necessary environmental safeguarding measures in its Greek mines.
Eldorado Gold president and CEO George Burns said: “Since acquiring the Kassandra Mines for nearly $2 billion in 2012, Eldorado has invested an additional $1 billion in the country.
“That figure would double if Eldorado were able to fully develop its Olympias, Skouries and Perama Hill assets. However, as a result of the delay in issuing permits by the Greek government, Eldorado is unable to continue investing in the country.”
However, Eldorado says that it may re-consider its investment plans in Greece should it get approval and receipt of the required permits. Along with them, it also wants the Greek government to discuss with it relating to the use and implementation of best available technologies for its mine development activities.