The Greece government announced on September 13 that it would grant the outstanding mining permits to Eldorado Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE:EGO) to allow it to operate one out of its three projects in the country, days after the miner workers clashed with Greek police during the riots against the possible job losses, after the company made the decision to suspend its operations and huge investments in the country. The company announced the possible halt of all its operations with the exception of maintenance and environmental-related activities by September 22 unless the government issues them with long-delayed licenses immediately.
Eldorado which operates in the northern Greece is one of the largest foreign investments in the country but its debt crisis started seven years ago after endless disputes with the government over the compliance with the environmental regulations. The company has over 2,000 workers and contractors across the country. If its operations are shut down altogether, all the staff except for the 300 workers responsible for maintenance would entirely lose their jobs.
The workers protested outside the ministry of energy which prompted the Minister George Stathakis to state that three pending licenses for the Olympias mining project are ready and would be issued in a few days time. Eldorado’s CEO, George Burns accepted the offer stating that it’s a positive step-forward but stated that they are waiting for other licenses for their other two projects.
In a statement, the company said that it would re-assess its investment opportunities after receiving the required permits and urged for a supportive government that is open to discussions to enable them to implement the best available technologies in the country.
Other facilities waiting for approval include the old Olympias plant and the Skouries flotation plant where the gold extraction is still under-developed. The Eldorado’s decision to halt investing in the country will be tabled on Friday this week. The Canadian government stated that they are working with Eldorado to help them resolve the stalemate with the Greek authorities.