Two years of labour peace at the Cassandra Mines

Despite the current economic circumstances, Hellas Gold ensures stability in wages and provides additional public holidays

After negotiations, the company Hellas Gold SA and two business associations [a) Association of Technicians and Employees of the companies Aktor SA- Hellas Gold “Agia Varvara” and b) Professional Association of Miners in the Underground Cassandra Mines in Halkidiki] agreed upon labour peace for the biennium 2016-2017..

The agreement which was signed on 01.02.2016 provides for the stabilization of the existing wages at the level of 31.12.2015, which is the expiration date of the first corporate collective agreement, as well as the maintenance of automatic salary increases due to maturation. There are also provisions for marriage, special circumstances and seniority benefits. In addition to this the following days were introduced as additional public holidays: January 1, January 6, Clean Monday, Holy Friday, December 4 and December 26, beside the official public holidays. Finally it was agreed that those who are entitled to full retirement due to old age can receive 100% of the authorized compensation in case of termination.

It should be noted that the minimum gross monthly wage for unskilled workers working  above ground amounts to €999, while for those working below ground it amounts to 1,215€.

It is worth adding that although the company had to suspend its work in the Skouries region due to delays in the issuance of “routine” licenses, it actively reinforces the efforts for peace within its labour force with its stance.

The CEO of the company Mr. Michalis Theodorakopoulos said: “The signing of the Corporate Agreement is a particularly important step for the company’s relationships with its employees and is the result of mutual trust and constant cooperation with the business associations in a particularly difficult economic environment where most companies are forced to perform pay cuts”. Mr. Theodorakopoulos also said that there are efforts being made for the prompt and effective resolution of any occurring issues.

 

SOURCE: Hellas Gold

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“Winner” and “Gold” Health and Safety Awards for Hellas Gold

Hellas Gold received the highest distinction for its policy and practice in the field of Health and Safety, accepting the awards “Winner” and “Gold” from the institution Health and Safety Awards, during the award ceremony that took place in Athens, Tuesday, September 29, 2015, in the presence of the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Welfare, Katrougalos Giorgos.

This award rewarded the policies and philosophy of Hellas Gold in the Department of Health and Safety, and certified its compliance with the higher and stricter standards giving Hellas Gold the lead in the health and safety sector in the field of mining industries and the gold medal in the field of readiness and emergency management.

A policy which in practice consists of the continuous modernization of the existing infrastructures, the effective prevention of accidents with continuous monitoring and assessment of risks and the corresponding appropriate measures and constant information, education, understanding, activation and effective participation of all workers in health and safety issues at work.

“For us, Health and Safety is not just a commitment, but a way of life, and it translates into a whole range of practices but also in our daily lives in the Cassandra Mines. And this was conquered through timeless collaborative effort”, says the Head of the integrated Health Department of Hellas Gold, Vassilis Vassiliadis who contributed in drafting one of the most modernized health departments in Greece, staffed with medical and nursing staff, modernized equipment and infrastructure, with clinics and ambulances in all the facilities, and comprehensive action at the prevention and control level, as well as health benefits to employees.

The Winner and Gold Health and safety awards, follow a series of distinctions that certify the environmental, occupational and social responsibility and consistency, but also the respect of stricter standards across the spectrum of activities of Hellas Gold:

  • CRI “Bronze Award” by the “Institute of Corporate Responsibility” for the social contribution of Hellas Gold and “Praise for Corporate Social Responsibility” by the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece, as part of the awards “Greek Value”.
  • “ISO 14001” for the Environmental Management System of Hellas Gold
  • “OISAS 18001: 2007” for the health and safety management system at work

You can find more information on the following linkwww.hsawards.gr

 

Source: hellas-gold.com

 

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Chalkidiki Miners set up camp outside the Productive Reconstaruction Ministry

About 40 workers from the Chalkidiki mines set up camp outside the Productive Reconstruction Ministry in Mesogeion, requesting the minister to take the necessary steps so they will  return to their jobs as soon as possible.
A Committee of four workers met with the official Minister of Productive Reconstruction, John Golia, and the Deputy Minister, K. Mousourouli.
According to them, a focal point of developments in the case of ressuming the mining activities of “Hellas Gold” is the trial of the new appeal to the State Council, submitted by the company and the workers, seeking annulment of the decision of the former Minister Panos Skourletis. This was also pointed out by the administrative leadership of YPAPEN.
Until then the employees declare their intention to remain outside the ministry, pending the hearing procedure at the Suspension Committee of the Council of State, set for the morning (09.30) Tuesday, September 15. The actual trial of the applications for annulment has been set for October 2.
It should be also noted that the case of the mines has issued a series of decisions the Council of State, in confirming the validity of the total investment as a single, undivided project.

Source: http://www.naftemporiki.gr

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Potami’s leader mr.Theodorakis says CoS rulings for Skouries gold mine must be respected

The head of the Potami party Stavros Theodorakis stressed that Greek authorities have an obligation to respect Council of State rulings concerning the gold mine at Skouries, asking the caretaker Productive Reconstruction Minister Ioannis Golias to intervene to uphold the law during a meeting on Thursday.

Theodorakis stressed that the request was “self-evident” in a European country and that the right to work must be combined with protection of the environment based on the judgement of state organs, not party committees.He criticised the initiative taken by the previous minister Panos Skourletis to close down the mines a few days before the elections, saying the action targeted Skourletis’ predecessor at the ministry, Popular Unity party leader Panagiotis Lafazanis.

Meanwhile, in addition to Drasi, a collection of former PASOK members that left the party to form the movement “Brosta” on Thursday announced their decision to join Potami’s ranks.

 

3-9-2015, http://www.gazzetta.gr/

 

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Hellas Gold’ s reply to the Minister of Productive Reconstruction Mr. Panos Skourletis

Athens, August 24, 2015

 

Subject: Reply to the 21.8.2015 press release of the Ministry of Productive Reconstruction as well as the current statements of Mr. Panos Skourletis at the radio station VIMA 99.5

 

We read in the 21.8.2015 press release of the Ministry of Productive Reconstruction but we also heard from Mr. Panos Skourletis in today’s radio interview the reference to the company’s contractual obligations to the Greek State on issues that, at least from an environmental and technical point of view, have already been addressed and resolved.

 

And the so called “hostage” workers is a concept that does not concern us and does not fit our intentions – and that is a well known fact to our workers for the last 10 years.

 

Regarding the technical issue that arises, Hellas Gold was obliged under the by 10.02.2012 approved Technical Studies of the projects in Skouries and Olympias  (no. D8-A/F.7.49.13 / 2809/349 and D8-A/F.7.49.13/30258PE/5159PE respectively) to submit by February 2015, an appendix for the Technical Study of the Copper-Gold Metallurgical Unit, which was submitted on time with no. A2272 on 22.12.2014 .

 

The tests included in this Study were performed on a semi-industrial scale in the research center of the provider of the know-how which is the only competent body to certify these types of tests, since the only facilities worldwide where a complete  technical examination of the applicability of the method of  flash smelting is feasible are those of the company Outotec, which has developed and exclusively owns the relevant know-how in Pori, Finland.

 

ONLY in this way is it technically possible to ensure the applicability of the flash smelting pyrometallurgical method based on field data of the region of the Cassandra Mines and control its environmental impact, and this is the essence of the safeguard.

 

Also, the findings presented in the study are clearly dated after the enforcement of the terms of February 2012 and thus the formalities are fully covered.

 

We are discovering that the Minister states that the decision relates to part of the project, which is not true since, according to these environmental assessment approval studies, total investment of the Cassandra Mines is a complex task, with improvement operations of existing and new mining installations but also restoration of all old and non-functional spaces. Therefore the individual parts of the investment are linked together functionally forming one indissoluble unity.

 

We hope that the government responds to our letter from 27.7.2015 (decision no. A2386) requesting a dialogue that will help find a mutually acceptable solution for unobstructed continuation of the work of the Cassandra Mines.

 

 

 

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Greek Miners barricade themselves in the tunnels in a show of protest

The miners of Cassandra Mines (Skouries) continuing this morning’s mobilization, the blockage of the  junctions Stratoni and Planas. protesting against the decision of the Greek authorities to suspend the technical studies of Hellas Gold, resulting to the temporary closing of the mines and putting the investment of Eldorado Gold and their jobs at risk.

They say they are determined to stay in the bowels of the earth indefinitely. The development of the situation is far from auspicious as the upcoming elections  monopolize the interest of all… After this Friday there will not even be a government any more to address the issue, since it will be its last day.

There is no way the service government that will be formed till the elections, will deal with such an important issue as the investment at Skouries, let alone to reach decisions or recall decisions already made.

The issue will be addressed after the elections on Septemper 20 by the next goverment.
Video of the miners to barricading themselves in the galleries here …https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwdx0xN2dp4

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Road blockages decided by the mine workers of Cassandra Mines

The unions of the workers of the Cassandra Mines, after the general meeting held in Stratoni on August 22, 2015 decided to start racing mobilization on Monday, August 24, 2015, with the exclusion of Stratoni and Planes intersections.

The workers  are called to gather on Monday morning at their workplaces and from there they will go to the blockage points, protesting against the decision of the Greek authorities to temporarily suspended work at Eldorado Gold’ northern Greece mine.

The note, signed by the Association of Scientific Personnel Cassandra Mines ‘Aristotle’, the Association of Employees and manual workers Cassandra Mines “Agia Varvara” and the Association basement Cassandra Mines, closes with the promise that “The struggle will continue and escalate in the near future with other actions until the final vindication”

Greek authorities have temporarily suspended work at Eldorado Gold’s  northern Greece mine, after determining the company had violated some terms.

http://www.metalleiachalkidikis.gr/blog/2015/08/metalleiachalkidikis-dromoikleistoiapodeftera/

 

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Hellas Gold: Profitability in the midst of crisis

Eldorado Gold is moving on the second phase of its business development in the Greek market through its subsidiary Hellas Gold. According to the CEO of Eldorado Gold Mr. Paul Wright, “in the framework of the announcement of the financial results of the Canadian multinational for the second quarter of 2015, the company will continue to the next stage of its development in Skouries and Olympias under its contracts and in collaboration with 2,000 employees in the country”. In particular during the second quarter of 2015 the activities of Eldorado Gold in Greece focused, among others, in exploring deposits in the Halkidiki area in the porphyry zone in the region of Skouries/Tsikara/Fisoka.

Meanwhile the Greek subsidiary Hellas Gold decided to proceed directly with 60 recruits, as well as increases in productivity bonuses because of the implementation of the seven-day operation program in the production process. 600 additional recruits are expected to be implemented by promoting the building permit of the enrichment factory and the logging permit in Skouries, Halkidiki. According to the CEO of the company. Mr. Michael Theodorakopoulos, “the mining company has ensured stability in recent years in payrolls, dealings and turnover and significant momentum in commissions, trade and construction. New jobs are added to the existing capacity of 2,000 workers currently employed in “Cassandra Mines” in NE Chalkidiki. It is worth noting that the job applications submitted to the company have reached the number of 11,000.

According to the parent company Eldorado Gold there is significant progress in Skouries in regards to the implementation of the expansion project, the construction of factories that serve the exploitation and processing of minerals has been completed, and the installation of factory equipment has begun. The development of the next phase has been determined in Olympias from which the calculated revenue is 618 million dollars before taxes from the first five years of the second production phase (except 2016). In Stratoni the overall ore production in the second quarter of 2015 was lower on an annual basis. The capacity of the plant was affected by the decline in the production of mines and the miners’ strike in support of the company’s projects in the area of ​​Skouries.

Overall in the second quarter of 2015, Eldorado Gold produced a total of 181,160 ounces of gold (including production by the site of Olympias), compared to 200,551 in the corresponding quarter of 2014 with the adjusted net profit standing at 17 million dollars over 35.9 million dollars. in 2014. In the second quarter of 2015 the company’s revenues amounted to 214.2 million dollars. Revenues from gold sales amounted to 204.2 million dollars. On the part of the Canadian multinational estimates for 2015 refer to gold production of 690,000 ounces.

NAFTEMPORIKI, 08/01/2015, by Letta Kalamara

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THE DIALOGUE FOR THE CHALKIDIKI GOLD MINES STARTS

As it was published at kathimerini newspaper on the 22/05/2015, the relationship between the workers at Chalkidiki Mines and the ministry of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy seem to have been deescalated. The Three worker unions have happily announced the commitment of the Alternate Minister, Giannis Tsironis, to conduct a meeting, at Cassandra Mines, on the 2nd of June, were representatives from the Ministry, “Hellas Gold” and mine employees will participate.

The Unions, based on the subject, issued the below statement:

“After five months of actions, protests and meetings, we managed to reveal the true face of NE Halkidiki and we showed that we decide for the future of our country. We were not frightened and we did not retreat. Our fight was and will remain continuous and rigid.

On the 20th of May 2015, we met once again with the Alternate Minister of Productive reconstruction, Environment and Energy, Mr. Yannis Tsironis, at his office. Without misinterpreting his “unexpected objections-such as, his persistence in meeting with only one of our representatives- and without considering his attitude as an attempt to avoid us, we insisted and we managed once again to come face to face with him.

We demonstrated again all of our concerns and everything that is being risked in our region and we stressed out for the obvious obligation of the minister, to face with seriousness the mining development in Halkidiki.

The meeting was fruitful and we have the first commitment of the minister for the meeting on the 2nd of June in Cassandra mines between the representatives of the Ministry, the “Hellas Gold” and the Mine employees.

We sought for it, we fought for it, we succeeded and this dialogue is underway. A dialogue for our country, our mines and our lives!

We hope and we expect that this burden of uncertainty that we are all experiencing lately is about to end and it is our belief, stronger than ever, that our Struggle will be justified.”

Kathimerini, 22/05/2015

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