Eldorado backs down on threat to halt Greek investment, for now – by Angeliki Koutantou (Reuters Canada – September 21, 2017)


ATHENS (Reuters) – Eldorado Gold (ELD.TO) EGO.N on Thursday postponed a decision to freeze its investment in Greece, saying that talks with the country’s leftist-led government, which granted it key permits last week, were “constructive”.

The Canadian miner last week threatened to halt new investment in its Olympias, Skouries and the Stratoni mines in the northern Greek region of Halkidiki from Sept. 22 unless the Greek government granted it permits and showed a willingness to engage in talks.

Eldorado also said it would only reassess its decision to freeze its investment if it got a permit for a flotation plant in Skouries. Since then Athens has issued permits to allow Eldorado’s Olympias project to become fully operational and has also launched an arbitration process to settle a long-running dispute over a metallurgical plant in Madem Lakkos.

Eldorado’s Chief Executive Officer George Burns said in a statement that the company was “very pleased with the constructive dialogue that is underway” with the energy ministry following the issuance of more permits. “As a result of these developments, we have decided to temporarily postpone our decision to place our assets in Halkidiki on care and maintenance,” he said.

But he warned that Eldorado could freeze the investment, if talks were unsuccessful: “We preserve the right to place our assets on care and maintenance and to take prompt legal action to protect the company and its assets in Greece should our dialogue with the ministry … prove unsuccessful.”

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