ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece is in talks with Canada’s Eldorado Gold to secure higher royalties from its mining development projects and new jobs, Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said on Monday.
Vancouver-based miner Eldorado has two operating mines and two development projects in northern Greece and its planned investment is viewed as one of the biggest in the country in years. The projects have, however, repeatedly stalled over licensing delays and environmental concerns.
They have become flagship schemes for Greece’s new conservative government, which took office in July with a pledge to unblock foreign investments and help boost economic output crimped by a quarter through years of financial turmoil.
Early this month, the government issued installation permits for Eldorado’s Skouries project. “We want to move ahead with a contract which, on the one hand, will send a business-friendly message, and on the other hand, a contract that will secure more jobs, more royalties and clear environmental protection for the region in line with European standards,” Hatzidakis told Reuters.
“There are negotiations right now. What we have told Eldorado Gold is that we don’t want these negotiations to slow down, but it also depends on the proposals they will present. We cannot reach an agreement at any expense.”
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