Eurostat: Greece Is Still the Unemployment ‘Champ’ of the European Union

Eurostat, the EU statistics authority, reports that the euro area (EA19) seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.1 percent in August 2016, stable compared to July 2016 and down from 10.7 percent in August 2015. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since July 2011. The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in August 2016, stable compared to July 2016 and down from 9.3 percent in August 2015. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since March 2009.

Greece remains the “champ” of joblessness with the highest unemployment rates in the EU. In June 2016, the Greek unemployment rate was at 23.4 percent, ahead of Spain (19.5 percent). In Cyprus, the unemployment rate fell from 14.7 percent to 12.1 percent. The member states with the lowest unemployment rates in August 2016 were recorded in the Czech Republic (3.9 percent) and Germany (4.2 percent).

source: greekreporter.com/2016/09/30, By Mary Harris

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President Obama’s Statement on the Occasion of Orthodox Easter

On the occasion of the Orthodox Easter, President Barack Obama greeted the Orthodox Christians in the US and across the world.

In a statement, the President said:

Michelle and I extend our best wishes to members of the Orthodox Christian community here in America and around the world as they observe Holy Friday and the Feast of the Resurrection.

For Orthodox Christians, this is a time to remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to rejoice in the victory of the Resurrection and to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in accordance with God’s will.

We lift up in prayer the members of the Orthodox community who have been persecuted for their faith and subjected to unspeakable acts of violence, and we seek the release of those who have been kidnapped. We remember those who have been driven from their homelands and who have seen their religious institutions desecrated or destroyed. And we stand in solidarity with Orthodox Christians and people of all faiths, and pledge to continue our work to ensure that all people are able to live in peace, justice, and freedom.

During this season of hope, we remember that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. We wish all who celebrate a blessed Easter.

source: greekreporter.com, By Evgenia Choros – Apr 30, 2016

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Eldorado Reports 2015 Year-End and Fourth Quarter Financial and Operational Results

In the annual review of  Eldorado Gold, ( read the full review here) there is a detailed report on the progress of the company’s investments in Greece , as follows :

 GREECE

In order to complete the construction and development of its Kassandra mining projects in Halkidiki, northern Greece, Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of Eldorado, requires the approval of various routine permits and licenses from a number of government agencies, predominantly under the direction of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (the “Ministry”).

Hellas Gold received approval for its Environmental Impact Study in 2011. Since 2012, the Ministry and other agencies have not entirely fulfilled their permitting and licensing obligations primarily as a result of the lobbying efforts by anti-development interest groups. While Hellas Gold is presently unable to complete its full development plans in Halkidiki as a result of the actions and/or inactions of the Ministry and other agencies regarding the timely issuance of routine permits and licenses, the Company remains committed over the long-term to the projects and its numerous stakeholders within the country.

Olympias

The Olympias plant treated 589,675 tonnes of tailings at a grade of 1.99 grams per tonne during 2015. A total of 16,396 ounces of gold were produced during the year. The Olympias plant ceased treating tailings during the first quarter of 2016.

On March 22, 2016, the Company was granted the required installation permit to begin the next phase (“Phase II”) of Olympias.  During 2015 basic engineering for Phase II was completed, and full implementation began with detailed engineering and procurement of long lead items was well advanced by year end. Underground mine development and refurbishment continued at Olympias during 2015, with underground ore production for Phase II projected to begin before the end of 2016. During 2015, 659 meters of underground access were rehabilitated and 1,901 meters of new development were completed. In addition, approximately 330 meters were advanced on the main Stratoni-Olympias decline, bringing total decline advance project-to-date to 1,950 meters. Capital costs incurred in 2015 were $97 million, consisting of $72 million in construction capital and $25 million in capitalized cost for tailings retreatment.

Skouries

Engineering design work for the processing plant and surface facilities progressed during 2015, with engineering at over 93% complete by year end. During the year a substantial amount of the equipment and various steel structures required to complete construction of the plant and facilities were delivered to the Skouries site, with over 80% of the procurement scope completed by the end of the year. Work continued on construction of the process plant and road access was completed to the base of the tailings dam.

Work on the development of the Skouries underground mine design was advanced during 2015 from scoping level through prefeasibility level. The underground mine design is expected to be completed in 2016. The mine is projected to produce 4.5 million tonnes per year using shaft and ramp access with sub level open stoping along vertical development intervals of 60 meters. The open pit is expected to be used for disposal of mill tailings during the life of the underground operation. The open pit is projected to operate for a period of 8 years to be followed by 22 years of underground mining. During 2015 a total of $112.9 million was spent at Skouries, excluding capitalized exploration and capitalized interest.

On January 11, 2016, the Company announced that construction and development activities at the Skouries project were being suspended due to delays in the issuance of routine permits and licenses by the Greek permitting authorities. Environmental protection works and care and maintenance activities continued to be performed in order to safeguard the environment and the assets of the Company at site at a cost of approximately $1.0 million per month.

Stratoni

Stratoni produced 31% less concentrate than in 2014 mainly due to lower mine output. Mine output was impacted by fewer available underground production faces as well as an extended mine shutdown related to Kassandra mines’ permitting issues. Stratoni reported a loss from mining operations of $12.5 million (2014: gross profit $0.6 million). The loss included a write down of inventory to net realizable value of $3.3 million. In addition to the shortfall in production, the profitability of mining operations was impacted by weak lead and zinc prices. Capital expenditures for the year included upgrades to health, safety and environmental equipment, and upgrades to the water treatment plant.

In 2016, the Company expects to process 220,000 tonnes of ore at grades of 6.2% lead, 10.0% zinc and 163 grams per tonne silver.  Sustaining capital for the year is expected to be $10.0 million.

The Mavres Petres Mine currently has a mine life of approximately three years based on the known proven and probable reserves.  Geological potential exists to expand resources at Mavres Petres and extend mine life, however, in order to delineate additional resources, a mining development and drilling campaign would be required at an estimated cost of $25 million over the next three years, assuming timely issuance of any permits that may be required.

Perama Hill

Project engineering was completed during the year on Perama Hill and the project was placed on care and maintenance pending receipt of the Environmental Impact Assessment approval. In 2015, a total of $1.0 million was spent on the Perama Hill project.

source: eldoradogold.com.,  ellinikoschrysos.gr

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Greek Government Grants Eldorado Gold Permit for Olympias Mine

The Greek government has granted Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of Canada’s Eldorado Gold, a license for the Olympias mine in northern Greece.

The company made the announcement on Tuesday, after Greece’s Environment and Energy Ministry gave the mining company the long-awaited permit.

“The project can now continue so that from the first quarter of 2017 the ore that will be produced at the mine will be processed at the Olympias facility,” Hellas Gold said in a statement.

Greece’s government had revoked Eldorado’s permit in August citing environmental concerns, the Council of State, the country’s top administrative court, annulled the government’s decision in January.

The Canadian company has been in acrimonious dispute with Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis, who in January suspended work at its Skouries gold mine, one of the four projects the company has in Greece.

The permit allows Eldorado to set up a processing plant in Olympias, which is crucial for the development of the mine.

The company has allocated 155 million dollars, or about two-thirds of its total development budget for 2016, to develop the Olympias project.

Currently, the company employs 2,000 workers in an area with an unemployment rate above 30 percent.

source: greekreporter.com, By Philip Chrysopoulos

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Tensions mount between Eldorado Gold and Greek government

Greek Energy Minister Panos Skourletis says Eldorado Gold Corp. chief executive Paul Wright shorted the shares of his own company, comments the miner dismissed as “utter nonsense,” as tensions mount between the Canadian company and the government in Athens.

Eldorado shares fell 19 per cent to $3.53 on Jan. 12 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the biggest one-day decline since December 2008, after Mr. Wright announced at a press conference in Athens that the company was suspending its investment plans for its Greek mines, blaming the attitude of the government.

“[Mr.] Wright is a CEO, he’s smart and he’s experienced; he gave a press conference knowing that the share price of the company would tumble,” Mr. Skourletis said when asked for an update on the country’s talks with Eldorado Gold in a wide-ranging interview on Thursday. “Why did he do that? In my opinion, and I told him when he was here, he played games with the share price. ‘You have told your friends that you are going to say these things at the press conference so that they could sell beforehand and then buy at lower prices.’”

The minister’s comments are the latest in a battle of words between the two sides that have failed to reach agreement over Eldorado’s plans to develop its mines in Greece. The country’s ruling Syriza party has said the company’s activities are polluting the environment. Mr. Skourletis last summer revoked a development permit for one of Eldorado’s mining sites. The decision was annulled by Greece’s top administrative court.

“I am absolutely certain that he shorts the company’s shares,” he said about Mr. Wright. “His compensation is tied, among other things, to the company’s share price, and he plays games with it.”

The minister provided no trading details to back his claim.

Mr. Skourletis’s allegations are “without basis and offensive,” Eduardo Moura, Eldorado vice-president and general manager for Greece, said in an e-mail, when asked to respond to the comment. The company’s spokeswoman in Vancouver, Krista Muhr, replying on behalf of the CEO, said the allegations are “utter nonsense.”

Elorado is not a heavily shorted stock, relative to other gold miners. In the week before Mr. Wright’s January comments in Athens, short positions in Eldorado rose to 1.9 per cent of the company’s free float, according to Markit data. That was slightly up from the 1.7-per-cent short interest on Dec. 31, which was a 52-week low.

By comparison, short interest in Barrick Gold Corp. was at 2.2 per cent of free float at the time, while Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. was at 5.3 per cent and Iamgold Corp. at 7.6 per cent. Newmont Mining Corp. was at 0.5 per cent. (A short sale occurs when the seller borrows stock from a brokerage, and sells it, expecting the price to fall. If it does, the seller will buy stock at the lower price to replace the stock that was borrowed.)

Mr. Wright has recently been buying Eldorado shares. He added 18,569 shares at $3.83 a piece on Feb. 8, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That brings his total to 1.17 million shares.

Eldorado closed at $4.01 a share on Tuesday on the TSX, for a market value of $2.87-billion.

Its shares have tumbled 39 per cent in the past year, the most among 19 competing miners tracked by Bloomberg, as it has gone back and forth with the government to develop its mines in Greece. Last month, the company said that a preliminary review indicates an after-tax impairment expense of $1.2-billion to $1.6-billion “primarily related to its Greek assets.”

“Eldorado’s commitment to Greece has resulted in over $700-million of investment into the country since 2012,” Mr. Moura, its vice-president, said. “The failure of the ministry on numerous fronts has forced the company to revise our investment plans; however, we remain committed to our Greek projects and the creation of jobs and long term development for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

According to Mr. Skourletis, one of the closest allies of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the company “blackmails” the government and the environmental watchdog in Greece to approve permits for further development of the mines “with eyes closed,” or risk a suspension of the investment and laying off of hundreds of miners. “They are colonialists, not investors,” Mr. Skourletis said.

The company denies violating environmental legislation, citing rulings by Greece’s top administrative court. “The Council of State – the Supreme Court of Greece on environmental and administrative matters – has repeatedly confirmed the integrity of our permits, including five rulings since 2014 declaring null and void various decisions of the Ministry of Energy and Environment,” Mr. Moura said.

While Mr. Skourletis acknowledged the court’s decision, he said that “the Council of State has ruled on specific aspects of the case, it hasn’t ruled on whether it’s a good or bad investment.”

Eldorado submitted licensing applications to further develop its mines in Northern Greece in December, the minister said. Authorities are required by law to respond within three months, and they will do so by the end of March, the minister said. If the miner complies with its environmental and planning commitments, then the government won’t stop the project which was licensed by the previous government, as there’s “continuity in state decisions,” Mr. Skourletis said.

He added, however, that the company probably wants to halt its investment to Greece anyway.

“Eldorado may want to stop the investment in Greece, and they just want to put the blame on the Greek government,” he said.

Consequently, it was announced that Mr Paul Wright is to file a defamation suit against Mr Panos Skourletis.

In a statement released last Thursday, Hellas Gold noted that any compensation arising from the case would go to Greek charities.

source: theglobeandmail.com,   Nikos Chrysoloras and Paul Tugwell, Bloomberg News, ekathimerini.com

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Greek court annuls Govt. decision to revoke Eldorado Gold licence

Greece’s top administrative court ruled Wednesday that last year’s government decision to revoke Canada’s Eldorado Gold (TSX: ELD) (NYSE:EGO) mining licence in the country’s north was baseless, Reuters reports.

The Vancouver-based company had appeal appealed Greece’s energy and environment ministry order that forced the company to temporarily halt operations in August. An October decision let the miner resume operations, but a final ruling was pending.

After months of waiting for a resolution, Eldorado Gold halted last week most operations at its Skouries gold mine, putting about 600 jobs on the line
After months of waiting for a resolution, Eldorado Gold halted last week most operations at its Skouries gold mine, putting about 600 jobs on the line. The company also warned it would do the same at its Olympias mine, risking another 500 jobs, if it didn’t secure necessary permits by the end of March.

Today’s ruling comes only a few days after Greece’s left-wing government accused the mining company of staging a “political show” and “blackmailing” authorities by cancelling work at Skouries, the country’s biggest foreign investment.

It also follows over a year of confrontations between Eldorado and the government of Greece, which included permits being revoked and delayed by the state multiple times.

The country’s ruling Syriza party has opposed the gold project, in the Thrace region, siding with many local residents who have staged several demonstrations. They claim the mine will destroy the environment and harm the area’s tourism potential.

There have also been both pro-mine protests, including a demonstration threat by the company’s local employees announced Monday and a march in April 2015, which attracted an estimated 4,000 supporters, forcing police to shut down major roads in Athens for several hours.

The company is not the first miner to struggle in Greece. In the 1990s, the Skouries and Olympias projects belonged to TVX Gold Inc., which failed to develop them because of local opposition. Eldorado has said it believed it could do better, in part because of its experience in developing mines in both neighbouring Turkey and China.

Currently the company employs 2,000 workers in an area with an unemployment rate above 30%.

source: mining.com, Cecilia Jamasmie | January 20, 2016

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Greece paralyzes as Tsipras government faces first general strike

Greece is paralyzed on Thursday as workers in the public and private sector are on strike protesting the harsh austerity measures imposed by the leftist Alexis Tsipras government.

This is the first general strike during the SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government that was re-elected in September. This is also the first big challenge of a government that was elected on a promise to ease the economic burden on crisis-stricken Greeks.

Public transportation will be very limited on Thursday as only buses and trolleys will run from 9 am until 9 pm. The Athens metro, urban and national railroads, and trams are not running, while dozens of domestic flights are cancelled. Ferries and cargo ships are tied up in port.

Schools, ministries, public offices, pharmacies and many stores are closed, along with museums and archaeological sites. Hospitals are receiving emergency cases only, while journalists have also walked off the job on television, radio and newspapers.

Two major demonstrations are planned by Greece’s two largest unions, GSEE for private sector employees and ADEDY for public sector employees. Thousands are expected to join the rallies. Strikers will rally in central Athens and march by parliament to protest against austerity.

SYRIZA’s labor department has called on all workers to strike and demonstrate against the harsh neoliberal policies. Government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili denied suggestions that the leftist party was trying to play both sides in supporting the anti-austerity strike.

Tsipras has said that Athens will implement its side of the bargain with lenders, but has long maintained that the bailout terms are excessively harsh. “We are implementing an agreement which includes [bailout] measures which are unfair,” Gerovasili said.

Source: greekreporter.com, by Philip Chrysopoulos – Nov 12, 2015

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Greece’s year of tumult enters new chapter as Tsipras dominates

Greek voters had the choice to reject the man who led their country closer than ever to being forced out of Europe’s single currency. Instead, they embraced him.

Alexis Tsipras and his Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, emerged from a second election in eight months with a level of support barely diminished from the emphatic victory that catapulted him both into power and a standoff with the euro region. SYRIZA, which took 35.5 percent of the vote compared with 28.1 percent for the center-right New Democracy, will enter a coalition with the same small party that helped it rule before.

While the victory tightens Tsipras’s hold over Greek politics, it also exposes the paradoxes of a country whose economy is a shadow of its former self and where controls remain on bank withdrawals. After coming to power pledging to end austerity and restore “dignity,” Tsipras now must implement the further sharp spending cuts and tax increases he ended up agreeing to in exchange for 86 billion euros ($97 billion) of fresh European aid.

The electorate has voted to return to power a party that “ditched its promises, switched its policies, and caused the collapse of Greek banks, bringing in an unneeded recession,” said Stathis Kalyvas, a professor of political science at Yale University. On the other hand, “this government will be called to implement a stringent set of fiscal and structural reforms that it vigorously rejected before,” he said.

Hot summer

Greeks this summer faced some of the most harrowing moments of their six-year financial crisis as Tsipras, a former Communist Party activist, entered a game of chicken with other European leaders over their criteria for granting the new bailout, the country’s third since 2010.

Banks were closed, commerce ground to a halt, and European officials began to talk openly of Greece exiting the euro. The crisis was only resolved when Tsipras caved in to creditor demands, agreeing to a package of requirements arguably even more onerous than the one Greek voters rejected in a referendum less than two weeks earlier.

As a result of that deal, Tsipras’s power over matters of taxation, spending, and regulation will be minimal in his second stint at Maximos, the official Athens residence of the Greek prime minister. Virtually all key economic decisions have effectively been made by European finance ministers and central bankers, and any deviation risks a halt to aid payments.

“The space for brinkmanship or renegotiating the agreement is close to zero,” said Brunello Rosa, an analyst at Roubini Global Economics. An initial review by creditors of the country’s progress in implementing the program is due before the end of the year, with another in spring 2016.

Lower turnout

Beyond voter apathy, Tsipras paid almost no political price for his about-face on austerity. Turnout on Sunday at 56 percent was the lowest since at least the 1990s, and the election failed to engender the same flag-waving and car horn-honking as the other votes this year. A small crowd watched an outdoor TV screen in the central Syntagma Square in Athens on Sunday night, normally the scene of raucous celebrations.

Zoe Makrigianni, a 20-year-old student in Athens, showed up with other SYRIZA supporters to celebrate the win at a smaller square nearby.

“I expected a victory, but not by such a big margin,” Makrigianni said as she hugged friends. “We have a rescue program and we have to implement it. The question was who would do it most fairly.”

SYRIZA’s share of the ballots was about one percentage point less than what it received in January. Popular Unity, a splinter group of left-wing Syriza lawmakers who abandoned the party over the bailout deal, fell short of the 3 percent threshold to enter parliament. Those defections in August cost SYRIZA its governing majority, forcing the election.

Markets man

At the same time, the departures helped turn Tsipras into a more palatable figure for financial markets. Greek government bonds posted the biggest returns in the euro area over the past month and the country’s stock market has also rallied.

While SYRIZA’s electoral performance was better than pollsters expected, the party still fell just short of a majority of seats in the 300-member parliament. It plans to enter another coalition with the right-wing Independent Greeks party, which received 3.7 percent of the vote and 10 seats.

With an expected majority of just five seats in parliament, down from a dozen, the Syriza coalition will have little room for error.

Doing deals

If Tsipras can finally also win over European leaders and the International Monetary Fund, he may be able to strengthen the country’s financial position. SyYRIZA has long called for a writedown of Greece’s 300 billion euros of government debt, while creditors have held out the prospect only of easier repayment terms.

Such progress would go over well with hard-up Greeks, whose economy has shrunk by a quarter since 2009.

The country’s voters have shown “they want the Tsipras that makes deals with creditors,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank in London. “They still trust Tsipras, after everything.”

[Bloomberg]

NIKOS CHRYSOLORAS, MATTHEW CAMPBELL & JONATHAN STEARNS/ ekathimerini.com

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New prime minister names caretaker cabinet

Greece’s new prime minister, a top judge who is the country’s first female premier, named the members of her caretaker government Friday as the country heads to early elections next month, the third time Greeks will go to the polls this year.

The appointments come a day after Supreme Court head Vassiliki Thanou was sworn into office. The 65-year-old was appointed after outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras resigned last week, barely seven months into his four-year mandate, following a rebellion by members of his radical-left SYRIZA party who objected to his agreement with the conditions of Greeces third international bailout.

The finance ministry post went to Giorgos Houliarakis, an academic who had been on Greeces negotiating team during talks with creditors. Popular Greek pop singer Alkistis Protopsalti was named tourism minister. The new cabinet was sworn in Friday.

Elections are widely expected to be set for Sept. 20. Tsipras has said he needs a stronger mandate to implement the tough austerity measures accompanying the three-year, 86 billion euro bailout, but an opinion poll published in the left-leaning Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper Friday found small support for his move.

Sixty-four percent said Tsipras’ decision to call the snap poll was wrong, compared to 24 percent who considered it correct. The remainder took no position or did not reply.

Sixty-eight percent said they believe the country should remain within the euro even if it means further austerity measures and sacrifices. Asked whether the government got the best deal it could for the third bailout, 48 percent said yes and 45 percent disagreed.

The poll showed SYRIZA supported by 23 percent, compared to 26 percent in an early July survey by the same company. The conservative New Democracy party stood at about 20 percent compared to 15 percent in July.

The small nationalist Independent Greeks, SYRIZA’s partner in the seven-month coalition government, were backed by 2 percent, below the 3 percent threshold for to enter Parliament.

Tsipras has ruled out forming a coalition with any of the center-right or center-left parties if he fails to win a majority to govern outright, meaning he would be unable to form a government unless a party that didn’t make it into parliament last time manages to win above 3 percent.

The poll was conducted by the ProRata company on Aug. 25-26 with a sample of 1,000 people nationwide and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

[AP]

source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/

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Massive gold reserves in Greece offer unique opportunity for Eldorado Gold

It’s no secret that economicturmoil and extreme uncertainty in Greece pose major threats to the global economy. Barring several setbacks and challenges, namely from Greece’s left-wing government, Eldorado Gold Corp. offers great potential in the country, as it has given itself the ammunition to achieve success in the near future through its gold projects.

Eldorado owns three gold projects in Greece: Olympias, Skouries and Perama Hill , along with an operating zinc mine called Stratoni. The company’s strong Greek presence doesn’t end there; among the seven companies that SNL tracks with projects in the country, Eldorado comes in second with $36.39 billion in reserves and resources in-situ value. The other companies combine for $43.90 billion.

Larco SA, the company with the largest in-situ value, owns an open pit nickel mine called Larco Nickel that has 2.5 million tonnes of contained nickel reserves and resources, although only 353,000 tonnes are classified as reserves. While the reserves and resources were last reported as of 2006, SNL has estimated Larco Nickel’s production at 18,000 tonnes for 2014.

SNL Attributable Greek project reserves and resources in situ values

SNL Eldroado active mine attributable in situ values by country

Additionally, Greece accounts for the largest chunk of Eldorado’s reserves and resources in-situ value, highlighting their commitment to future production in the country.  Turkey comes in second place at $21.01 billion in reserves and resources in-situ value.

Together, the Olympias, Skouries and Perama Hill projects account for 8.5 million ounces in attributable gold reserves, followed by the  Kisladag mine in Turkey with 8.1 million ounces. However, unlike the Kisladag mine, which is expected to close in 2020, the Olympias and Skouries mines are projected to be operating until 2040 and 2043, respectively. SNL data also captures zinc and copper reserves in Greece for comparison’s sake. The 950,950 tonnes of attributable zinc reserves and 728,650 tonnes of attributable copper reserves represent a much larger but less valuable portion of Eldorado’s operations in Greece.

Eldorado’s potential in Greece has not come without several roadblocks . In March, Greece’s then-newly elected government dealt a major blow to the Skouries project when it revoked a construction permit that would allow an essential processing plant to be built. This was primarily due to environmental and tourism concerns regarding the project. However, in late April a Greek court overturned a 2013 decision by a local environmental group that also denied the company approval for the plant. Per a June news release from Eldorado, “The Company expects commissioning of the Skouries Project in the first quarter of 2017 pending anticipated near-term resolution of outstanding approval challenges.”

Clearing regulatory hurdles will allow Eldorado to move forward with the Skouries project, which together with Olympias will offer new opportunities for both the company and Greece.

Eldorado already invested $450 million between these two projects and is not backing down despite risk in the country. The company’s Investor Presentation from June highlights that it continues to employ over 2,000 people in Greece — where unemployment figures remain north of 25% — and that it will pay at least $1 billion in taxes to the Greek government over the next two decades.

SNL Eldorado attributable gold, zinc, copper reserves by project in Greece

SNL data illustrates the stark contrast of Eldorado’s attributable in-situ values for gold, zinc and copper projects, which represent some of the company’s primary commodities. Stratoni, the company’s only operating zinc mine in Greece, has an in-situ value of $164.2 million based on its total attributable reserves and a nominal zinc price of $2,161/tonne. Skouries provides the company with an in-situ value of $4.58 billion in copper reserves based on a nominal price of $6,283/tonne. Conversely, Eldorado’s three gold projects account for $9.74 billion in attributable in situ value, based on a nominal gold price of $1,150/oz.

These figures — combined with the fact that there are only 76,000 tonnes of attributable zinc reserves at Stratoni, make clear the rationale behind Eldorado’s continued commitment to its Greek gold projects despite the country’s ongoing financial crisis. Eldorado can expect to see a substantial increase in Greek gold production starting in 2016 when phase two construction at Olympias is complete and in 2017 when Skouries commences production. By 2020, Eldorado has estimated 123,420 equivalent ounces of annual gold production at Olympias alone.

 

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