Hellas Gold was “ready for dialogue” if the government elected on September 20 seeks to renegotiate the gold mining investments in Halkidiki, Vice-President and CEO Mihalis Theodorakopoulos said on Wednesday in an interview with the ANA-MPA radio station “Praktorio 104.9”.

“The original contract asked for nothing, we have offered much to the municipality, the local community and the public sector but we are open and ready for dialogue,” he said.

According to Theodorakopoulos, the environmental impact studies carried out by Hellas Gold had been irrevocably approved by the Council of State, Greece’s supreme administrative court, and the environmental issues were now “closed”. The issues that currently concerned the Halkidiki investment were “various minor obstacles that could be raised by any official on a local or central level,” he added.

He described the dispute as a “guerrilla war that has to end” and clarified that the problem was not confined to SYRIZA: “For 10 years we have been trying to licence the project and SYRIZA was not in government.”

“SYRIZA and New Democracy can exploit the issue of the mines however they like, we don’t care if they put us on the political agenda and we don’t want to be mixed up in the political atmosphere of the time,” Theodorakopoulos added, noting that Greek engineers wanted this investment to go ahead.

“Our vision of all these years is starting to be implemented and we will not hand this over to anyone, either in a positive or a negative sense,” he said.

Theodorakopoulos revealed that a meeting was held between company representatives and ministry officials immediately after Tuesday’s CoS hearing, which postponed a ruling on the issues until after the elections.

“We made it clear that the political game has nothing to do with us,” he noted, and pointed out that the cost of employing the 100-150 employees of the mines was roughly five million euros a month. He said these had not been suspended and were currently employed chiefly on environmental protection issues, pumping water and the safety of the installations, as the mine was continuing to operate and there had to be continuous pumping of water and processing of acidic waters.

17 Sep 2015-greece2day.com