New Environment Minister Giorgos Stathakis on Thursday approved the study for the construction of the enrichment facility at the Hellas Gold mine at Skouries, northern Greece.
The previous environment minister, Panos Skourletis, was refusing to sign the environmental study for the construction of the enrichment plant at Skouries, thereby hindering works of Hellas Gold, subsidiary of Canadian-based Eldorado Gold.
On Monday, Stathakis will have the first meeting with the Hellas Gold management to see if the company is willing to withdraw the appeal to the Council of State against Skourletis’ decision that blocked the licensing of the metallurgical plant at the Madem Lakkos location.
The Stathakis decision unblocks the construction of the project, which remained frozen since May, as the approval of the environmental study was needed by the Archaeological Service for further approval. After that, a building permit from town-planning is needed.
Eldorado Gold estimates that production at the Skouries mine will begin in 2019 and the output expected is 6,200 tons. The second stage of the Skouries project will cost 540 million dollars, while the total capital expenditure in the region for the third quarter of 2016 is 13.2 million dollars.