Skouries gold/copper project, Greece – update

3rd March 2023 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Skouries gold/copper project, Greece – update

Photo by: Eldorado Gold Corporation

Name of the Project
Skouries gold/copper project.

Halkidiki peninsula, northern Greece.

Project Owner/s
Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of Eldorado Gold Corporation (95%), and Aktor (5%).

Project Description
The gold/copper porphyry deposit is planned to be mined using a combination of conventional openpit and underground mining techniques. The mineral process facilities will produce doré and a gold/copper concentrate.

The project has total proven and probable reserves of 157.67-million tonnes grading 0.74 g/t gold and 0.49% copper. 

Mineral resources have been estimated at 289.28-million tonnes grading 0.58 g/t gold and 0.43% copper, with inferred mineral resources of 170.14-million tonnes grading 0.31 g/t gold and 0.34% copper.

Gold production has been estimated at 140 000 oz/y. Average copper production is estimated at 67-million pounds.

Skouries has been designed as a two-phase operation.

Phase 1 comprises a combined openpit and underground mine operating over ten years.

Skouries will be a conventional truck-and-shovel operation. The mining sequence will consist of drilling, blasting and loading, as well as the hauling of ore and waste materials for processing and waste disposal.

Phase 1 total mill feed is eight-million tonnes a year consisting of a nominal 5.5-million tonnes a year from the openpit mine, combined with 2.5-million tonnes a year from the underground mine. 

At the start of the mine life, during the initial two-year underground mine ramp-up, the openpit feed rate is 6.4-million tonnes a year to maintain the eight-million-tonne-a-year mill feed. 

During Phase 1, about 6.5-million tonnes of oxide ore will be stockpiled, to be rehandled for mill feed during Phase 2. Phase 1 will be completed at the end of the openpit mine life in Year 10.

Phase 2 consists of underground mining for a further 13 years. Sublevel open stoping has been confirmed as the most appropriate underground mining method for the project.

Phase 2 mine production, from Year 11 to the end of the life-of-mine (LoM), will be provided from the underground mine. Phase 2 mine development begins in Year 4 to allow for a seamless ramp-up from the Phase 1 production of 2.4-million tonnes a year. During the first three years of Phase 2, the mill feed rate of eight-million tonnes a year will be maintained by reclaiming oxide ore stockpiled during Phase 1 at 1.6-million tonnes a year. 

From Year 14, Phase 2 mill feed will be maintained at an average of 6.2-million tonnes a year, solely from underground mine production.

The total LoM is 23 years.

The materials handling strategy for Phase 1 is based on truck haulage of run-of-mine ore directly to the surface from the loading bays using the dual ramp system.

Phase 2 materials handling will involve the shaft hoisting of ore to the surface. Shaft hoisting is critical to allow for ramp-up to full production of 6.4-million tonnes a year from the Phase 1 production of 2.5-million tonnes a year. 

To hoist the material by shaft, underground crushing will be implemented. The design of the Skouries mine includes provision for remote mining technology, which has an impact on the cycle times of stopes and the productivity of equipment. This technology includes the teleremote operation of mechanised equipment by an operator located on surface or in a remote area of the underground mine.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an after-tax estimated internal rate of return of 19%, with a payback of four years.

Capital Expenditure
Initial Phase 1 capital expenditure is estimated at $845-million.

Planned Start/End Date
The Skouries project restarted in December 2022, and first production is targeted in 2025.

Latest Developments
Eldorado Gold is forecasting a big jump in its production over the next five years, with the addition of the Skouries mine providing significant near-term growth.

Gold production will increase to between 675 000 oz/y and 735 000 oz/y by 2027, from the 475 00 oz/y to 525 000 oz/y forecast for 2023.

Eldorado has allocated growth capital of $394-million to $437-million, including $240-million to $260-million towards the advancement of the Skouries project, in 2023. 

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Eldorado Gold manager – investor relations Peter Lekich, tel +1 604 687 4018 or email; or director – communications and government relations Louise Burgess, tel +1 604 687 4018 or email