Eldorado Gold receives two permits from Greek government, other issues remain

Miners protest threatened mine suspension in Greece

Eldorado Gold receives two permits from Greek government, other issues remain

Eldorado said earlier this week that it planned to suspend investment at its mines in Greece following what it said were delays in the issuing of permits and licenses. But differences have dragged on for years, especially over compliance with environmental regulations.

It said Wednesday that once it received all of the required permits, clarity around the arbitration process and a supportive government open to discussions it would then be in a position to re-assess its investment options in Greece.

The announcement sparked an angry protest outside the energy ministry on Wednesday by dozens of Eldorado Gold workers anxious about potential job losses. "We look forward to receiving the outstanding permits for both Olympias and Skouries soon". "Three permits will be issued as we announced in August, allowing Olympias to be fully operational".

The company said on Monday that no additional investment would be made into Olympias and Skouries projects and the Stratoni mine from September 22, only days after the leftist-led government urged investors to show confidence in Greece as it emerges from crisis.

The company's stance has angered the government, which has accused Eldorado Gold of attempting to apply political pressure, timing their announcement two days after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras made a speech at an annual trade fair stressing Greece was friendly to worldwide investments.

After meeting with the company at the Toronto mining conference in March, Champagne wrote to say that Canadian companies expect to be treated fairly and Eldorado has done "everything it can in order to comply with local laws and regulations".

Eldorado spent about 2 billion dollars to acquire the Greek assets in 2012 and has invested over 1 billion dollars in developing them. It says it employs about 2,000 people in Greece, where unemployment remains the euro zone's highest at 21.2 percent. Dozens of Eldorado Gold workers rallied outside the energy ministry earlier in protest at potential job losses.

It is sensitive for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' Syriza party, which strongly opposed the investment before coming to power in 2015. His government now says it wants it as long as it is "environmentally and economically sound".

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