VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – Canadian gold producer Eldorado Gold reports that icy relations with the leftist Greek government are on the mend, and it has temporarily postponed its threats to mothball development of the Kasandra Mines assets in Halkidiki, Northern Greece.
The Vancouver-based company said on Thursday that it has entered into constructive dialogue with Greece's Ministry of Energy and Environment (MoE) regarding the development of the Skouries and Olympias projects and the Stratoni mine, held by the company's subsidiary, Hellas Gold.
The projects were permitted by the Greek State in 2011, under one single environment impact study.
In the wake of Eldorado threatening to halt further investment at its development projects in Greece last week, the MoE responded swiftly by issuing several long-overdue routine permits for the Olympias project.
“As a result of these developments we have decided to temporarily postpone our decision to place our assets in Halkidiki on care and maintenance,” stated president and CEO George Burns in a news release.
"We preserve the right to place our assets on care and maintenance and to take prompt legal action to protect the company and its assets in Greece, should our dialogue with the MoE prove unsuccessful. At the same time, we remain confident that the arbitration process initiated last week by the Greek government will be concluded in a timely and efficient manner, for the benefit of all stakeholders."
Greece had issued Eldorado with an official notice of domestic arbitration last week, arguing that the technical study Eldorado had completed for the Madem Lakkos metallurgical plant for treating Olympias and Skouries concentrates in the Stratoni Valley, submitted in December 2014, was deficient and thereby in violation of the transfer contract and the environmental terms of the project.
Eldorado disputes this, saying it is “highly confident” that the subject technical study is robust and consistent with the transfer contract, the business plan and the approved environmental terms of the project.