Greek Environment Minister Announces Stoppage of Skouries Goldmine Development

Panos SkourletisGreek Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis announced on Wednesday that there will be a temporary stop on the ongoing gold mining project in Skouries, northern Greece.

“With my decision today, we recall the approval of the technical studies. That means a temporary halt of the company’s work in Skouries,” he said after noting that the company had violated some of the studies’ agreed terms.

Skourletis added that while investments are welcome and necessary, investing companies must respect their agreed commitments to ensure the well-being of the state and the environment.

The Skouries goldmine is still being developed by Hellas Gold. The project has been subject to controversy for many years, as environmentalists and part of the local population have opposed and often demonstrated against the mine, citing environmental damage and the mine’s effects on the area’s tourism industry as reasons.

Canadian gold mining company Eldorado Gold is the majority owner of Hellas Gold. Skoureltis’ announcement comes after the Greek Council of the State had ruled in favor of Eldorado Gold on August 13.