Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold said it had temporarily postponed its decision to suspend operations in Greece after meeting with government officials on Thursday, adding that both parties had entered “constructive dialogue”.
The Vancouver-based firm had threatened to halt its mega investment at the Skouries and Stratoni mines in northern Greece on September 22, after the Greek government had delayed granting permits.
On Thursday however, one day before the deadline, the company issued a statement saying that it “has entered into constructive dialogue with Greece’s ministry of energy and environment in respect to the development of the company’s subsidiary, Hellas Gold SA’s Kassandra Mine assets in Halkidiki, northern Greece”.
Eldorado Gold president and CEO George Burns said he was very pleased with the constructive dialogue underway with the ministry, adding that a number of “long overdue routine permits” had been issued 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,” he said, adding that Eldorado Gold still reserved the right to suspend operations should talks with the ministry “prove unsuccessful”.
The company has already invested 1 billion dollars – the largest investment in Greece since the beginning of the crisis – in gold-extraction and refurbishment projects in northern Greece and is employing some 2,400 workers, who protested earlier today outside the energy ministry in Athens fearing job losses just hours before deadline.