Subject to financing and board approval, the company said construction is expected recommence by the second half of 2022. Eldorado’s plans for Skouries are revealed in the company’s first quarter 2022 financial and operational results, which were released after the close of trading on April 28, 2022.
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, and Brazil. Key operations include the Kisladag and Efemcukuru mines in Turkey, the Olympias Mine in Greece, and the Lamaque Mine in Quebec.
The company has said it expects to produce between 460,000 and 490,000 ounces of gold this year. However, a pipeline of growth projects is expected to drive Eldorado’s annual production up to 525,000 ounces in 2024.
Meanwhile, a feasibility study released in December 2021, pegged the initial capital costs to complete Skouries at $845 million, an increase of 23% over forecasts contained in a March, 2018 pre-feasibility study.
The feasibility study envisages life of mine production of 2.9 million ounces of gold, including average annual production of 140,000 ounces of gold and 67 million pounds of copper (approximately 312,000 ounces of gold equivalent) over a 20-year life span.
The Skouries project is part of the Kassandra Mine Complex, and located within the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece. It is a gold-copper porphyry deposit designed to be mined using a combination of open pit and underground mining techniques.
The expected mine life will consist of two phases. Phase one is a combined open pit and underground mine operating for roughly nine years. Phase two consists of mining solely from the underground mine for a further 11 years.
The mineral process facility is designed to produce a gold-copper concentrate.
“During the quarter, we made meaningful progress at Skouries, our development project in Greece, with activity focused on cladding of the process plant, commencement of basic engineering and continued preservation of site facilities and equipment,’’ said Eldorado President and CEO George Burns.
“Our focus ahead is on maintaining positive momentum by delivering on key initiatives including a financing package for Skouries,” he said. “Financing discussions continue to advance, and we are evaluating all available options including, joint venture equity partners, project and debt financing through EU and Greek lenders as well as the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund, and metal streams.’’
On Friday, Eldorado shares eased 8.8% or $1.19 to $12.34 on volume of 601,310. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $15.73 and $9.52.