Canadian multinational Eldorado Gold is reportedly moving towards a radical change in strategy for its controversial and delay-plagued mining concession in Greece, the largest production investment in the recession-battered country.
According to press reports, and as widely expected, lack of a resolution in bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles preventing the full operation of Eldorado’s Greek subsidiary, Hellas Gold, is behind the Vancouver-based company’s decision to curtail operations.
The leftist-rightist coalition government, and specifically the relevant Energy and Environmental Protection ministry, last month refused to re-issue a necessary license for electro-mechanical equipment at the Skouries mine. The reason cited by the ministry relates to the fact that the Greek government and Hellas Gold are currently in an arbitration process to resolve other differences.
The foreign direct investment in Greece by the Canadian miner in 2017 alone rose to 150 million CDN, with most of the capital funneled to the Halkidiki prefecture of northern Greece. Although the Skouries site has attracted practically all of the opposition to the mining concession in the prefecture’s eastern portion, its other site, Olympiada, has more-or-less been completed.
Based on a previously tabled budget, Eldorado’s Greek subsidiary had expected to invest 300 million CDN more in Greece next year.
While in the opposition, radical leftist SYRIZA, the dominant party in the current government coalition, had sternly and vociferously opposed the mining concession, in step with environmentalists, some local communities of Halkidiki and far-left anti-capitalist groups in the country.