Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp and its subsidiary Hellenic Gold on Wednesday received a positive ruling from arbitrators on its planned gold mining plant in Greece, Reuters says.
However, the company is awaiting mine development permits, after it had suspended operations at its Skouries, Northern Greece project in November, following a dispute with the Greek State.
The Greek government had argued that Eldorado’s 2014 technical report on the Madem Lakkos metallurgy plant, which will process Skouries and Olympias concentrate, was in breach of a 2003 contract on its acquisition of mining assets in the Chalkidiki region.
According to Reuters, the arbitration panel’s decision does not guarantee that Skouries will get the permits required for development. Greece’s Ministry of Environment and Energy has often put obstacles in the way of Eldorado Gold’s projects. Hence the decision to take the issue to arbitration.
Eldorado said the decision provides a foundation to advance dialogue with Greece. “We look to the Greek state to fulfill its obligations under the transfer contract including issuing the outstanding permits for the Skouries project,” Eldorado Chief Executive George Burns said in a statement.
Reuters says that Eldorado filed an updated technical report on Skouries that said it will reduce the project footprint by 40 percent. It will take about two years to build the mine, which consists of 3.77 million ounces of gold reserves and 779 million pounds of copper.
Eldorado forecasts 2018 development capital for Skouries at $20 million with future care and maintenance costs estimated at $3 million to $5 million annually.
“The complete, efficient and responsible growth of our investment in Chalkidiki will benefit the Greek State and its citizens, local society, shareholders and our employees in Greece,” the Eldorado Gold CEO said.