Eldorado Gold Corp. [ELD-TSX; EGO-NYSE] CEO George Burns stepped up the company’s efforts to kickstart its Skouries gold-copper project by meeting with Greek Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday August 9.
According to a published report, the prime minister reiterated the government’s support for the Canadian company’s plans in Greece on the condition that it respects environmental regulations and generates jobs.
Burns, for his part, expressed the company’s commitment to working with the government on ensuring that these terms are met, according to a report in ekathimerini.com.
The report said the meeting was attended by ministers for Development Adonis Georgiadis, and Environment and Energy Kostis Hatzidakis, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Akis Skertos and Eldorado Gold Greece’s vice-president Christos Balakas.
On Friday, Eldorado Gold shares eased 1.18% or 13 cents to $10.85 on volume of 968,094. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $3.36 and $11.89.
Based in Vancouver, Eldorado is a mid-tier gold and base metals producer with an international
portfolio that includes mining, development and exploration projects in Turkey, Canada, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Brazil.
Key operations include the Kisladag and Efemcukuru mines in Turkey, the Olympias Mine in Greece, and the Lamaque Mine in Quebec. Together they are expected to produce between 390,000 and 420,000 ounces this year at an all-in-sustaining cost of US $900-$1,000 an ounce.
However, analysts said Eldorado’s stock price has been held down by concerns about capital allocation decisions and the company’s inability to advance development of its Skouries gold-copper project in Greece. While 50% constructed, the Skouries Project remains on care and maintenance pending the receipt of necessary permits from the Greek government.
It is why Burns is hoping that a new government will see that developing Skouries is a win-win – not only for Eldorado – but also for the Greek economy.
Situated in the Halkidiki Peninsula of Northern Greece in the Serbo-Macedonian ore belt, Skouries is expected to produce 140,000 ounces of gold and 67 million pounds of copper annually during an estimated mine life of 23 years. Skouries is located on concessions that also contain the Olympias Mine, which produced almost 10,000 ounces of gold during the first quarter of 2019.
The Skouries gold-copper porphyry project is designed as a two-phase mining operation that produces a very clean gold-copper concentrate and is uniquely designed to deploy the best available technologies for tailings disposal, Burns said.
Phase one consists of an open pit mine and underground mine that will operate for 10 years. Phase 2 consists of mining from the underground mine for a further 13 years.
In 2018, Eldorado demanded a 750 million Euro payment from Greece for damages related to project permit delays. The company’s planned investment in Greece has been viewed as one of the biggest in the country in years.