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Eldorado lifts capex estimate for Greece mining project

23rd February 2024

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

     

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Canada-based Eldorado Gold has increased the capital expenditure (capex) estimate of the Skouries project, in Greece, to $920-million, but between the project finance facility and balance sheet, the project remains fully funded.

The company advanced to full construction last year following the closing of a €680-million project financing facility with two Greek banks. In addition, Eldorado completed a C$81.5-million strategic investment with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

After finalising key contracts last year, the capital cost estimate remained in line with the December 2021 feasibility study estimate.  However, more recent and pending contracts incorporate labour rates and labour hours that are higher than the feasibility study estimate, resulting in the capex rising from the initial $845-million.

Further, the time it took to negotiate key contracts has had a “modest” impact on the production schedule, the company reports. Skouries is now expected to deliver its first copper/gold concentrate in the third quarter of next year, rather than the previously guided mid-2025.

As such, Eldorado now expects to produce between 50 000 oz and 60 000 oz from Skouries in 2025, compared with the previously guided 80 000 oz to 90 000 oz range.

Copper production from the new Greek mine is expected to be between 15-million and 20-million pounds in 2025.

A steep ramp-up curve is expected over that second half of 2025 and remains on track for commercial production at the end of 2025.

“We look forward to bringing online this world class copper/gold asset that will deliver an additional 40% of high-quality gold production growth for our company by 2027,” said CEO George Burns.

In 2023, Eldorado produced 485 139 oz of gold from a portfolio of four operating mines. The company delivered a 7% production growth and lowered all-in sustaining costs by 4% to $1 229/oz.

“We achieved this in a challenging inflationary environment and successfully delivered key initiatives across our operations. Kisladag successfully commissioned the new agglomeration drum and North Heap Leach Pad; Olympias started up its ventilation system and bulk emulsion explosives; and Lamaque converted a portion of the Ormaque inferred resources into indicated in preparation for an initial reserve later in 2024. By completing these critical activities we have set up our operations for success to deliver consistent, sustainable results through continued execution,” said Burns.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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