Hellas Gold SA (part of Canadian Eldorado Gold Corp.) and the mining workers employed in the company’s goldmines in Skouries, Chalkidiki, Northern Greece, appear determined to proceed with legal action against the Greek government, after the latter announced it would be recalling the permit for a processing plant on the site and reviewing the terms under which it was issued.
The mining company is ready to challenge the government’s decision at the Council of State, the country’s supreme court, which has already rejected three appeals against the goldmine. “The company believes the Ministry’s decision has no legal basis and will, if necessary, act to protect the legal rights of the company, employees and stakeholders,” Eldorado sources said. “The Ministry’s recent move escalates the level of risk/uncertainty. We believe the most rational outcome is for higher taxes and royalties, given the anti-austerity government’s need to fund increased social spending,” Toronto-based RBC Capital Markets analyst Dan Rollins said earlier today in a note to clients, according to Bloomberg.
At the same time, the mine’s 2,000 workers have also issued a new statement insisting they will launch a “relentless struggle until the end.” Furthermore, they declared they would only communicate with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras directly, as they claimed Environment Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis assured them he would not take any actions before conducting a meeting with them, and this did not happen.
According to Greek Energy Ministry sources, the latest decision was taken after complaints that the details regarding the processing plant’s size are incorrect, underlining that it aims at protecting the “environment and national interest.”
The Skouries goldmine is the largest of the Cassandra Mines of northern Chalkidiki and one of the largest gold deposits in Greece.