GREEK MINING COMPANIES: THE PROS AND CONS IN 2015

The year 2015 is expected to bring similar results with the previous fiscal year in the mineral resources sector in Greece, mutatis mutandis, in accordance with the assessment of the Greek Mining Enterprises Association.

This year proceeds with a pent-up demand, limited fall of prices and striking differences across markets (EU, US, Asia). These data are not good, but a balance is achieved through advantages, such should be considered the decline in the euro-dollar exchange rate, the fall in oil prices and the significant drop in ocean freight rates, which influence the rates of exportable products.   However, low freight rates enable the sales increase in low-cost producers as well, thus intensifying competition. On the other hand, there are many outstanding issues within the country, such as the full implementation of the national policy for the exploitation of mineral resources, the horizontal integration of national policy guidelines for the mineral wealth in all individual policies and planning and the drawing up of special spatial planning for its mineral wealth. What is more, many other issues remain unresolved such as the provision of information to local communities about the importance of mining industry to regional development, the promotion of new investments through tenders of allocation of available public mining concessions, the law codification on mining activities, as well as the operation of the constituted forum for the implementation of the national policy. Furthermore, the mining companies are waiting for the adoption of the new draft Quarry Bill and the support of the industry through the Development Law.

Production, Investment and Business Practice: The mining industry, cumulatively the years 2009-2014, in the midst of the economic crisis, has a total turnover of 15 billion over the whole six years. At the same time it has invested in research and development of products an amount that exceeds 100,000,000 euros. Moreover, during these years it has made investments of more than 2 billion in new projects, new equipment, and modernization of production and waste management methods or recovery of by-products.  The key business activities include also the reinstatement and restoration of the environment in the mining site when mining activity has ended. In this context, according to figures provided by the Greek Mining Enterprises Association, 3 million trees have been planted and 79 million euros have been spent in restoration, maintenance and care of restored sites from 2007 to 2014. Specifically, based on data of 25 member companies of the Greek Mining Enterprises Association, the production of ores, industrial minerals, product of the mechanical enrichment processing, metallurgical products and marbles went in most cases up. At the same time, there have been significant changes in major categories of metals.

 

 

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MICHALIS THEODORAKOPOULOS: “IN GREECE, ENTREPRENEURSHIP HAS BEEN DEMONIZED”

The CEO of Hellas Gold – subsidiary of EL Dorado Gold-, operating at the mines of Northeastern Chalkidiki in Greece, Mr. Michalis Theodorakopoulos gave an interview to the radio station of Thessaloniki “Focus 103.6” and journalist Dimitris Venieris on the occasion of his candidature in the elections of the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece.

Inevitably at some point the conversation led to the investment of Hellas Gold in Northeastern Halkidiki. Mr. Theodorakopoulos talked about some very interesting issues in the interview, such as the demand for labour in the mines, which has reached 7,000 applications, his satisfaction that the Minister Productive Reconstruction Mr. Lafazanis included in his requirements – apart from the protection of the environment and public interest – the investor’s profit, and the obvious fact that the strength of the private sector favours the public sector, and many more…

But when he started talking with figures the truth emerged, as numbers answer to those who claim that the company does not pay taxes and the state does not benefit from the presence of El Dorado in Greece:

  • From the average of 45,000 Euros corresponding to the cost of each worker for the company, half go to the State in the form of taxes and contributions.
  • Every year 30 million Euros goes to the State as insurance contributions.
  • Every year 30% of the turnover is returned to the State in taxes, regardless of whether the company has profits or losses. Today the turnover amounts to 100 million Euros and the full development of the project is projected to reach 800 million Euros. We are talking about 240 million Euros per year going to the state!!!
  • 300-400 million Euros per year are planned to be invested for the next 2-3 years.
  • According to the most optimistic predictions the first gold will be mined in 2022 and it will continue for another 23 years. We are talking about a 30 year investment.
  • According to the investment plan 20 million Euros per month are expected to be invested and because of the bureaucratic setbacks this amount has been reduced to 9 million Euros.

Another point stressed by Mr. Theodorakopoulos is that  El Dorado essentially made its appearance in 2012 to invest in an idea of ​​Greek engineers since 2005, concerning the exploitation of the national mineral wealth.

Regarding the controversial issue of the environment, the CEO of Hellas Gold reiterated that the Environmental Impact Study that has gone through appeals to the Council of State follows the European legislation which is much stricter than that of North America.

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THE LOSSES OF ELDORADO GOLD & THE CONSEQUENCES ON THE GREEK MARKET

The involvement of the company Hellas Gold – subsidiary of EL Dorado Gold – in the gold mine project in Skouries Chalkidiki, Greece, resulted in not one, but two big losers. So far, all the attention has focused on stock losses recorded by the Canadian group of El Dorado Gold, as the share which it is trading in the market of Toronto (and in Wall Street) has lost 26.5% of its value since the beginning of the year. The plunge of the stock created a domino effect as it took its toll on the financial figures of the Greek group of Ellaktor, participator of Hellas Gold, where the business interests of Bobolas famiy are expressed. Indeed, the losses exhibited in the first quarter of this year by Ellaktor (12.3 million Euros) are almost entirely due to the decline of the El Dorado Gold stock. This is because the Greek group owns 1.1% of the Canadian company, while at the same time it also owns 5% of Hellas Gold that operates in Skouries. It is significant that at the end of 2004, the participation of Ellaktor in El Dorado Gold was valued at 77.342 million Euros. In the end, however, of last March, the value of this shareholding was forfeited to 64.97 million Euros, thus creating a financial hole of 12.372 million Euros in the financial data of Ellaktor for the first quarter of the year. It is evident, however, that the adventure for the Bobolas group does not end here, as the share of El Dorado is continuing its descent thus increasing the negative impact on the accounts of Ellaktor. This is because at this moment the participation value has gone down to 57.4 million Euros. That is, the Bobolas group has lost 7.6 million Euros more. The downfall for the stock market course of El Dorado came after the intervention of the Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Mr. Lafazanis and the new government policy which was against the project of gold mining. At the beginning of this year, the stock of El Dorado was at 7.8 Canadian Dollars, while now it is at 5.20. At the same time, the market value of the Canadian company has decreased by 2 billion Euros.

DEAL NEWS, 19/06/2015

 

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GREECE-RUSSIA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF COOPERATION FOR NATURAL GAS PIPELINE PROJECT

Greek and Russian authorities on Friday signed a memorandum of cooperation for the construction of a “South European Pipeline”, beginning in 2016 and scheduled to be completed in 2019.

The memorandum, signed in St Petersburg by Greek Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, envisages that the company which will build and operate the project will be equally owned (50-50) between Greece and Russia, while the Russian side will offer funding facilities using future revenues from the project as collateral.

Lafazanis also signed a joint declaration for the support of the project with the president of Vnesheconombank–VEB, Vladimir Dimitriev.

The memorandum, characterized as “of historic significance” by the Greek ministry, underlines –among others- the need to strengthen European energy security through the divergence of natural gas routes to European markets, safeguarding supply stability of Greece with natural gas from Russia and the ability of transporting natural gas towards third countries.

For the construction of the project, a special purpose company will be set up (50-50), while new shareholders will be able to participate following agreement. Greece will be represented by Public Enterprise of Energy Investments, soon to be set up.

The pipeline will have a transport capacity of 47 billion cubic metres of gas annually. Greece and Russia also pledged to facilitate the special purpose company so that “third parties to be named by the Russian founder to pledge up to 100 pct of the pipeline’s capacity for natural gas supplies which will be transported through Greece”. Also, Greece will offer all legal support to issue all necessary licenses and the interconnection of the pipeline with the Greek natural gas transmission system and third countries’ systems.

The natural gas pipeline system, currently designed, will by-pass Ukraine, through the Black Sea, through Turkey and Greece, towards Europe.

19-6-2015 http://www.newsbomb.gr/en

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GIVING BACK

In 2011, the Indonesian government was given the task of transforming 443ha of revegetated land from a former mine site into a botanical garden and the country’s first-ever carbon absorption project

GARY PETERS looks into the project’s challenges and potential benefits

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In use since 1996, the former PT Newmont Minahasa Raya-operated (PTNMR) mine site, located in the Mesel gold mine area, has changed beyond all recognition. Once mineral extraction ceased in 2001, when mineable economic gold deposits became depleted, PTNMR – a joint venture between the Newmont Mining Corporation located in Denver, US, and PT Tanjung Serapung in Indonesia – sat about putting its reclamation project into practice.

PTNMR’s closure plan was submitted to the government in March 2002 and approved in December of the same year, with mineral processes continuing until 2004. Closure activities were eventually completed in 2006 and PTNMR’s monitoring lasted until 2010.

The site was one of the first large-scale mines in Indonesia to close and reforestation started with 155,814 tree and fruit crops planted on 20Oha of reclaimed land.

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A MAGNET FOR TOURISM

The project has involved the Indonesian Department of Forestry, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the University of Sam Ratulangi, the North Sulawesi Sustainable Development Foundation and other local constituents through a collaborative process.

The trees planted – mahogany, teak, nyatoh and sengon – were based on a multi-purpose tree species system and are part of larger reclamation works to return the site to its original purpose and create a botanical garden that acts as a magnet for tourism, providing both economic and environmental benefits.

According to figures released by the Forestry Department of North Sulawesi, reclamation success rates have reached 92.82%, around 12% higher than the government’s standard. “The success of the reclamation at Minahasa is reflected in the fact that Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry designated 221 hectares of the reforested mine site as a botanical garden,” says Omar Jabara, group executive of corporate communications at Newmont Mining.

Jabara believes that the project demonstrates how “mines can be discovered, operated and closed responsibly”, but admits that gaining approval for the garden – granted in 2014 – was a complicated process. “Seeking botanical garden designation is a long and arduous process, requiring approvals and endorsement from various local governments, as well as research and analysis to assess a botanical garden’s potential social, economic and environmental impacts.”

Scheduled for completion in five to seven years, it will, says Jabara, “be a tourist destination for thousands of regional and international visitors annually and, through entrance fees and taxes, will contribute to regional revenue”.

“Both the reclaimed forest and botanical garden have the potential to create positive economic and environmental conditions for local inhabitants,” he says. “In addition, the site’s botanical garden designation ensures [that] the habitats of hundreds of species of plants, birds, insects and other animals will be protected.”

Looking forward, it is hoped that this diversity of species will enable the reclaimed forest and garden to become areas for environmental research and education, acting as outdoor classrooms and laboratories.

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SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

As part of PTNMR’s sustainable development for the mine closure, opinions from local communities were sought. One avenue for discussion between different parties is the community consultative committee, which consists of community leaders and members from local villages close to the mine site and wider area.

A prime concern, according to a case study created by PTNMR entitled ‘Sustainable development for post closure’, was that villages would suffer through a loss of contractors and local wages. The answer from PTNMR was to introduce sustainable social programs across areas such as micro-finance, fisheries and agricultural technology, as well as vocational training for communities.

One such example is the mangrove rehabilitation in Ratatotok and Buyat. By working with non-governmental organizations and local groups, there has been a push towards restoring the sites as part of the reforestation of the wider mine closure. This has seen approximately 50,000 mangroves planted on 5ha of village land, producing 10,000 mangrove seedlings of local species.

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RECLAIMED BY NATURE

PTNMR’s transformation of the gold mine centers around three concepts: environmental, economic and social sustainability.

The first includes the mangrove rehabilitation, reclamation forest and artificial coral reefs at Buyat Bay and Totok Bay. The reefs are home to more than 3,000 reef balls that mimic the habitat of fish and other organisms – providing economic benefits through the development of fish stock and underwater diving tourism.

Monitoring by the fishery and marine faculty of Sam Ratulangi University discovered that the reefs’ biodiversity of coral fish was similar to what would be found in natural reefs, and surveys up until 2009 highlighted that 83 species and 4,171 individual organisms had inhabited the reefs.

On the environmental aspect, Jabara adds: “Although in years past some claimed the Minahasa mine polluted the environment, ongoing independent testing has shown that the mine was operated and closed responsibly. The reclaimed forest also has become a model for carbon absorption.”

Social sustainability focuses on community foundations, created to ensure that the closure does not negatively affect the surrounding communities of Ratatotok and Buyat. A majority of these are educational and environmental programmes, such as grants for students and the construction of health centres.

Moving forward, PTNMR and its partners will continue with the creation of the botanical garden, reclamation forest and other sustainable initiatives, demonstrating that the closure of a mine can be the start of a different type of era. •

 

SOURCE: http://www.nridigital.com/mine-digital-magazine/may-2015 ]

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ELDORADO GOLD ANNOUNCES OLYMPIAS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

(all figures in US dollars unless otherwise noted)

VANCOUVER, June 11, 2015 /CNW/ – Eldorado Gold Corporation (“Eldorado” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on the implementation and operational plans for the phased development at its 95%-owned Olympias Mine, part of the Kassandra projects, located in the Halkidiki district of northern Greece.

Paul Wright, Eldorado’s Chief Executive Officer stated, “The ongoing staged development of Olympias is continuing to establish the Olympias project as a cornerstone asset for the Company.”

Highlights

  • Estimated total capital expenditure for the concentrator upgrade and mine development for Phase II through 2015-2016 is $83M.
  • Estimated average annual production during the first full 4 years of Phase II (excluding ramp-up in 2016):
    • 60,725 ounces of gold
    • 1.1 million ounces of silver
    • 12,200 tonnes of lead
    • 12,900 tonnes of zinc
  • Estimated average cash operating costs of $309/oz (including by-product credits) during the first full 4 years of Phase II (excluding ramp-up in 2016).
  • Overall metal recovery in the flotation circuit is estimated to be 89% for lead, 94% for zinc, 92% for silver and 88% for gold.
  • The project is projected to generate ~$618M of pre-tax revenue during the first five years of Phase II operations, from 2016-2020.

Phase I

During this initial phase of operations, pyrite tailings previously deposited in the Olympias tailings management facility (TMF) are being reclaimed and reprocessed through the concentrator to recover a gold concentrate.  Tailings are reground in a ball mill at a throughput of 2,400 tonnes per day (tpd) then processed through a single stream flotation circuit to recover gold bearing pyrite concentrate for sale offshore.  Tailings from this process are then transferred to the centrally located Kokkinolakas TMF, which services both the Olympias and Stratoni mines.  At current production rates, Phase I is expected to be complete by the end of 2015. Environmental reclamation of the Olympias TMF area is projected to begin in late 2015 as areas become available.

Historic underground mining at Olympias for lead and zinc (1976-1995) used a combination of sub-level caving and drift and fill methods.  In 2012, Eldorado initiated an extensive program of rehabilitation of the old workings and development of new access to the orebody. The work currently underway involves replacing and upgrading ground support, rehabilitation of the existing 320 meter deep shaft and additional ventilation capacity.  Development of the main decline from the Stratoni valley to access the bottom of the mine is also underway, having reached 1,725 meters of the planned 8,300 meter length.

Phase II

The second phase of operations will include the conversion of the concentrator to a differential flotation circuit producing lead, zinc and gold concentrates, which is expected to be sold through offshore contracts.  The concentrator is designed to be operated at a throughput of 385,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) as set out in the approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Kassandra Mines.1

Development of the underground mining operation to support Phase II production has involved continued rehabilitation of existing drives and development of new access to the ore.  A total of 13,000 meters of mine development has been completed to date.  Drift and fill stoping with paste backfill has been selected as the most effective mining method for the orebody.  Consolidated paste backfill is expected to provide necessary support for the mining operations.  Due to the high mass pull for the concentrates, the majority of tailings produced from the flotation circuit are expected to be used as mine backfill.  Sufficient mine development and infrastructure is expected to be in place to support ramping up underground ore production starting in Q2 2016.  The opportunity exists in the new circuit to increase production beyond the stated throughput with minimal investment, should it be chosen in the future. It is estimated Phase II will operate for approximately 6-8 years.

Implementation and Operating Performance

Phase II engineering and design is well underway, with some site preparation in progress, and on schedule to initiate construction of Phase II in Q4 2015. During the preparations for Phase II, the concentrator plant will be shut down for installation of the three flotation circuits.  Prior to the shutdown, rehabilitation work will be carried out in a number of areas including replacement of the crushing facilities for mine ore, modifications to the thickening and filtration circuits, and the installation of a new ball mill to treat the underground ore.  The work required to bring the plant up to a nominal design capacity of 385,000 tpa will be completed in mid-2016.

The estimated cost of conversion of the concentrator for differential flotation plus refurbishment of the crushing and grinding circuits and addition of a paste backfill plant is approximately $45.6M as detailed below.

Table 1: Concentrator Upgrade

Capital Cost Estimate

2015

[US$M]

2016

[US$M]

Overall Site and Infrastructure

0.5

0.5

Crushing

3.2

1.1

Grinding and Flotation

3.4

14.0

Concentrate Filtration and Bagging

2.8

1.1

Tailings Filtration and Backfill

6.4

2.1

Sub-Total Direct Costs

16.3

18.8

Indirect Costs

5.2

5.3

Total Capital Expenditures

21.5

24.1

 

__________________________________

1 Stratoni, Skouries and Olympias comprise the Kassandra Mines and are all permitted under one EIA.

In addition to the $45.6M estimated expenditure for the concentrator upgrade, estimated capital expenditures for Phase II preparation in 2015 and 2016 are approximately $37.5M.

Economic analysis of the project, carried out using a gold price of $1,250/oz, silver at $16.50/oz, lead at $2,000/t and zinc at $2,000/t, shows  strong performance during the operating period with early payback of capital for development of Phase II.  The project is expected to generate approximately $618M of pre-tax revenue during the first five years of Phase II. Table 2 details the financial performance of Phase II over the first five years.

Table 2: Five Year Operating Performance

Performance

Units

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Ore Tonnes

tpa

109,100

385,000

385,000

385,000

385,000

Gold Grade

g/t

11.1

10.8

9.2

8.5

9.2

Payable Gold Production

oz

19,800

68,300

59,200

55,400

60,000

Payable Silver Production

oz

277,600

914,800

1,066,900

1,237,100

1,289,400

Payable Lead Production

t

2,800

9,600

11,800

13,600

13,900

Payable Zinc Production

t

2,600

10,100

12,600

13,800

15,100

Total Au-Equiv Production

oz AuEq

32,104

111,895

112,323

115,570

123,420

C1 – Cash Operating Cost

US$/oz Au

391

400

347

272

202

All-In Sustaining Cost

US$/oz Au

582

617

596

538

450

Gross Revenue

US$M

40

140

140

144

154

 

* oz AuEq = ( (oz Au * Au price per oz) + (oz Ag * Ag price per oz) + (t Pb * Pb price per t) + (t Zn * Zn price per t) ) / (Au price per oz)

Phase III

The design of Olympias Phase III is currently under way.  Phase III is designed to include the completion of the main decline accessing the bottom of the Olympias orebody, and installation of underground materials handling facilities for ore, waste and mine backfill.  In Phase III, the mine is designed to be operated at a nominal throughput of 800,000 tpa, as per the EIA approved by the Greek authorities, providing feed for a new concentrator and gold recovery circuit.

Skouries Update

The Company expects commissioning of the Skouries Project in the first quarter of 2017 pending anticipated near-term resolution of outstanding approval challenges. The project continues to advance with mills in place and steelwork and equipment erection underway on the flotation circuit. Earthworks on the plant site area are continuing and topsoil is being removed in preparation for construction of the first tailings dam. The topsoil and overburden removal contract from the open pit was completed in April.

Eldorado in Greece

With approximately $450 million invested to date in developing the Skouries and Olympias projects, Eldorado is one of the largest foreign investors in Greece.  The Company now directly employs over 2,000 people in the country and has paid in excess of $60 million in payroll taxes to the Greek Government since 2012 and $160 million to Greek suppliers in 2014.  All operations are legally permitted and operate in accordance with all Greek and European regulations. International and in-country guidelines are followed to ensure that the environmental and safety practices meet the highest standards.  The integrity of the Hellas Gold EIA, which took five years to prepare, has been affirmed by Greece’s Council of State (Supreme Court) on three separate occasions.

About Eldorado Gold

Eldorado is a leading low cost gold producer with mining, development and exploration operations in Turkey, China, Greece, Romaniaand Brazil.  The Company’s success to date is based on a low cost strategy, a highly skilled and dedicated workforce, safe and responsible operations, and long-term partnerships with the communities where it operates.  Eldorado’s common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: ELD) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: EGO).

Certain of the statements made herein may contain forward-looking statements or information within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of words such as “plans”, “expects”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates”, or “believes” or the negatives thereof or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements or information herein include, but are not limited to the Olympias Development Update.

Forward-looking statements and forward-looking information by their nature are based on assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information.  We have made certain assumptions about the forward-looking statements and information and even though our management believes that the assumptions made and the expectations represented by such statements or information are reasonable, there can be no assurance that the forward-looking statement or information will prove to be accurate.  Furthermore, should one or more of the risks, uncertainties or other factors materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements or information.  These risks, uncertainties and other factors include, among others, the following:  gold price volatility; discrepancies between actual and estimated production, mineral reserves and resources and metallurgical recoveries; mining operational and development risk; litigation risks; regulatory restrictions, including environmental regulatory restrictions and liability; risks of sovereign investment; currency fluctuations; speculative nature of gold exploration; global economic climate; dilution; share price volatility; competition; loss of key employees; additional funding requirements; and defective title to mineral claims or property, as well as those factors discussed in the sections entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” and “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form & Form 40-F dated March 27, 2015.

There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements or information will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.  Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements or information contained herein.  Except as required by law, we do not expect to update forward-looking statements and information continually as conditions change and you are referred to the full discussion of the Company’s business contained in the Company’s reports filed with the securities regulatory authorities in Canada and the U.S.

SOURCE Eldorado Gold Corporation

 

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FOCUSING ON SAFE PRODUCTION OF GOLD

The modern gold mining industry in Europe has nothing to do with the past practice. In each step of the process, from the extraction to processing and production of gold bars, liable methods are being used which must comply with the very high European standards that have been set for the enhancement of the safety and for the environmental protection.

Particularly, the modern gold mines in Europe, whether they are still under construction or those that are already fully operating, they use the approved by the EU Best Available Techniques.

These techniques have been described in a Reference Document has been adapted by the European Commission and is in accordance with the basic, for extractive industry, Directive 2006/21/EC for the management of

(“Mining Waste Directive” 2006/21/EC). These result in the use of the most effective and advanced methods and technologies in mining and mineral processing as well as in the hydrometallurgical or pyrometallurgical processes for the production of the final product. In this way, every modern exploitation of gold in the European Union, is a subject to a set of comprehensive and strict regulations that determine all the aspects of production in order to ensure the implementation of rules for a Sustainable Development, a Development of all member states that have such particular activities. Specifically:

 

  • Each project Development-exploitation of gold, should prepare a fully comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in accordance with the Directive on “ environmental impact assessment of project implementation (EIA)”, in order to assess in detail the impact that will have the activity to the environment and the potential to deal, minimize and undo it. These studies are brought in to the attention of the local communities and to any party that has interest or is being involved to, and according to the Aarchus agreement they are given the opportunity to express their comments, opinions or their complete disagreement with the proposed project. All these opinions are taken seriously into account by the licensing authorities and they are included in the decisions for approval for environmental conditions (A.E.C), which ultimately decides whether the licensing authority will approve the project.
  • In each project for development-exploitation of gold, should include in the EIA specific studies by the responsible for the waste management of the mining wastes, according to the corresponding European Mining Waste Directive. According to the Directive, each party for the development-exploitation of gold, should undertake a study for mining waste management which should meet the strict requirements that are set by the directive, so that the management of the extracted wastes and the facilities where they are proposed to be placed will be completely safe for the health and the environment. These conditions include, among others, the following:

-Appropriate measures in order to protect from possible failures the construction and the operation of the facilities for the wastes of the project.

-Accurate management plans that will describe the way that extractive wastes will be handled, aiming towards, their best management, reducing their deposits, reuse and recycling where this is possible and finally the restoration of the area after the operation is being ended.

– Development of a plan for the prevention, handling and reporting of serious accidents (accidents that could result in loss of human life or could cause serious damage to the environment) from failure of the waste facilities.

-Obligation of recovery of waste facilities when the mine will no longer operate, based on the decisions for the Approval of Environmental Conditions (A.E.C)

-Strict framework to safeguard the environment and restoration of the operating areas of waste facilities, after the end of the exploitation, such as compliance and serious commitment, care and monitoring of the restored sites, after the closure of the site.

-Inspection from the State in order to ensure that the conditions under which the project was licensed during its operation.

-Payment of a financial guarantee for the compliance with the approved conditions for the reinstatement and the environmental protection, which should be submitted before the initiation of the exploitation.  This works as a guarantee for the State in order to be able, even if the operator ceases to exist, to fulfill his obligations that have arise from the A.E.C. This includes not only the restoration of the mining area after the end of the operation, but also the obligations for care.

  • Mining exploitations, including those of gold, must comply with all European environmental directives, which should be proved through the ongoing Environmental Impact study. Basic instructions concerning the mining industry is the Water Framing Directive as well as the Environmental Liability Directive which imposes liability regime in the event of environmental damage or imminent threat of destruction of the environment from the operations of the mining facilities.

 

SOURCE: “GOLD: HISTORY, ART, SCIENCE, ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT” A.M.E 2013

 

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G7 LEADERS AGREE TO PHASE OUT FOSSIL FUEL USE BY END OF CENTURY

As we read at theguardian.com, the G7 leading industrial nations have agreed to cut greenhouse gases by phasing out the use of fossil fuels by the end of the century, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has announced, in a move hailed as historic by some environmental campaigners.

On the final day of talks in a Bavarian castle, Merkel said the leaders had committed themselves to the need to “decarbonise the global economy in the course of this century”. They also agreed on a global target for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to a maximum of 2C over pre-industrial levels.

Environmental lobbyists described the announcement as a hopeful sign that plans for complete decarbonisation could be decided on in Paris climate talks later this year. But they criticised the fact that leaders had baulked at Merkel’s proposal that they should agree to immediate binding emission targets.

As host of the summit, which took place in the foothills of Germany’s largest mountain, the Zugspitze, Merkel said the leading industrialised countries were committed to raising $100bn (£65bn) in annual climate financing by 2020 from public and private sources.

In a 17-page communique issued after the summit at Schloss Elmau under the slogan “Think Ahead, Act Together”, the G7 leaders agreed to back the recommendations of the IPCC, the United Nations’ climate change panel, to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions at the upper end of a range of 40% to 70% by 2050, using 2010 as the baseline.

Merkel also announced that G7 governments had signed up to initiatives to work for an end to extreme poverty and hunger, reducing by 2030 the number of people living in hunger and malnutrition by 500 million, as well as improving the global response to epidemics in the light of the Ebola crisis.

Poverty campaigners reacted with cautious optimism to the news.
The participant countries – Germany, Britain, France, the US, Canada, Japan and Italy – would work on initiatives to combat disease and help countries around the world react to epidemics, including a fund within the World Bank dedicated to tackling health emergencies, Merkel announced at a press conference after the summit formally ended on Monday afternoon.

Reacting to the summit’s final declaration, the European Climate Foundation described the G7 leaders’ announcement as historic, saying it signalled “the end of the fossil fuel age” and was an “important milestone on the road to a new climate deal in Paris”.

Samantha Smith, a climate campaigner for the World Wildlife Fund, said: “There is only one way to meet the goals they agreed: get out of fossil fuels as soon as possible.”

The 350. org  campaign group put out a direct challenge to Barack Obama to shut down long-term infrastructure projects linked to the fossil fuel industry. “If President Obama wants to live up to the rhetoric we’re seeing out of Germany, he’ll need to start doing everything in his power to keep fossil fuels in the ground. He can begin by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and ending coal, oil and gas development on public lands,” said May Boeve, the group’s director.

Others called on negotiators seeking an international climate deal at Paris later this year to make total decarbonisation of the global economy the official goal.

“A clear long-term decarbonisation objective in the Paris agreement, such as net zero greenhouse gas emissions well before the end of the century, will shift this towards low-carbon investment and avoid unmanageable climate risk,” said Nigel Topping, the chief executive of the We Mean Business coalition.

Merkel won praise for succeeding in her ambition to ensure climate was not squeezed off the agenda by other pressing issues. Some environmental groups said she had established herself as a “climate hero”.

Observers said she had succeeded where sceptics thought she would not, in winning over Canada and Japan, the most reluctant G7 partners ahead of negotiations, to sign up to her targets on climate, health and poverty.

Iain Keith, campaign director of the online activist network Avaaz, said: “Angela Merkel faced down Canada and Japan to say ‘Auf Wiedersehen’ to carbon pollution and become the climate hero the world needs.”

The One campaigning and advocacy organisation called the leaders’ pledge to end extreme poverty a “historic ambition”. Adrian Lovett, its Europe executive director, said: “These G7 leaders have signed up … to be part of the generation that ends extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.” But he warned: “Schloss Elmau’s legacy must be more than a castle in the air.

But the Christian relief organisation World Vision accused the leaders of failing to deliver on their ambitious agenda, arguing they had been too distracted by immediate crises, such as Russia and Greece. “Despite addressing issues like hunger and immunisation, it was nowhere as near as ambitious as we would have hoped for,” a spokeswoman said.

Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust said the proposals would “transform the resilience of global health systems”. But he said the success of the measures would depend on the effectiveness with which they could be coordinated on a global scale and that required fundamental reform of the World Health Organisation, something the leaders stopped short of deciding on.

“We urge world leaders to consider establishing an independent body within the WHO with the authority and responsibility to deliver this,” he said.

Merkel, who called the talks “very work-intensive and productive” and defended the format of a summit that cost an estimated €300m (£220m), said that the participants had agreed to sharpen existing sanctions against Russia if the crisis in Ukraine were to escalate.

She also said “there isn’t much time left” to find a solution to the Greek global debt crisis but that participants were unanimous in wanting Greece to stay in the eurozone.

Demonstrators, about 3,000 of whom had packed a protest camp in the nearby village of Garmisch Partenkirchen, cancelled the final action that had been planned to coincide with the close of the summit.

At a meeting in the local railway station, the head of Stop G7 Elmau, Ingrid Scherf announced that the final rally would not go ahead “because we’re already walked off our feet”. She denied the claims of local politicians that the group’s demonstrations had been a flop. “I’m not at all disappointed, the turnout was super,” she said. “And we also had the support of lots of locals.”

Only two demonstrators were arrested, police said, one for throwing a soup dish, another for carrying a spear.

Additional reporting by Suzanne Goldenberg

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/08/g7-leaders-agree-phase-out-fossil-fuel-use-end-of-century

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DO WE PRODUCE COPPER IN GREECE?

 

The question that has been placed by the International Copper study group (ICSG), while completing a questionnaire, was whether or not we produce Copper in Greece, if this production is primary or secondary, how much do we produce and what is the revenue of the state from such activities. Well let us answer to these questions and discuss the bitter truths of this subject.

  1. Do we have primary Copper production (from the same mineral sources) in Greece?

The answer is NO, despite the fact that we “could” and according to my opinion we “ought” do so. To start with, it is not being performed a primarily mining of copper-containing ores in our country (copper sulfides, chalcocite etc.), which results in no primary production of copper from the same raw materials.

However, in our country, we do have copper containing (and auriferous) deposits of mixed Sulphide porphyry-type (as those in Chile) with copper concentrations that nowadays are considered as economically exploitable. There is also a forecast for the production of copper-gold concentrate (2.500.000 t) and pure copper (30,000 tons copper/year for the first seven years of opencast copper exploitation and 22,000 tons/years for the next 21 years of underground mining) according to the utilization studies of porphyry copper-gold deposit of Skouries Halkidikis. Provided, of course that will operate a factory for copper enrichment and metallurgy. These estimations refer to the total duration of the project (total estimate of exploitable mine recourses in about 150 million tons of ore with an average of 0.56% Cu content for at least 30 years).

  1. Do we have secondary Copper production (recycled) in Greece?

The answer is “probably YES” but the state knows nothing further about it, because this recycling is being performed through “Black Recycling” and consequently “Black Metallurgy”, this type of metallurgy that under the guise of recycling is becoming popular but aims to illegal enrichment and having negative results for the Environment, for the public health, for the national economy, for the safety and health of those involved, particularly the foreign workers … while preserving the 100,000 illegal collectors of scrap metal in Athens. Copper thefts in all kinds of constructions or public places have kneeled down bridges and units of the OSE, even water pipes and sewer grates in all municipalities of the country. In yards and foundries of illegal recycling, metallurgy of copper (and cast iron, aluminum, etc.) suffers … Foundries continue washing out the traces of this crime leaving the Greek state watching silently.

At that point, we need to separate the above mentioned illegal activities from the contribution of legal companies that work at the field of copper manufacturing (e.g HALCOR) and those companies that are legally active in collection, marketing and export of recycled materials, which however many times result in being involved in the trafficking of illegal Metallurgy.

Dr. Peter Jeffers, Professor at NTUA-writer, director of MRPEE

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THE SOCIAL POLICY OF HELLAS GOLD S.A.

The Corporate Social Responsibility of Hellas Gold, the company that is involved in the investment of Kassandra Mines in Chalkidiki, in North Greece, is not a vision, but a realistic implementation of its commitments towards all social partners with absolute consistency.  It is the social, environmental and economic responsibility in the content of the development of Aristotle Municipality, where Hellas Gold is being hosted, as well as of the Northeast of Chalkidiki in general.

Employment, strengthening of local economy and of parallel activities, the infrastructure and the activities related to the development and culture are just some of the areas through which social responsibility is being expressed. Today, over 2,000 people who originate, and live in the area and work in the Cassandra Mines, while new jobs are being opened while opening new jobs through the support of industries related to mining activity and benefit from boosting liquidity in the local economy, the market and trade.

The parallel investments in this environment are indicative for the relationship of mutual respect that is being built between them and the citizens. With fully compatible with the environment mining methods and mineral processing, innovative technology, updated facilities and mining, reforestation and landscape restoration program.

Hellas Gold is probably the only Greek private company that collaborates with related schools and educational institution. Through this long-term cooperation, but also though the possibility of new engineering Internships and Summer Employment of students from the municipality of Aristotle area, academic research is promoted within the wider mining field and through familiarizing students with a demanding competitive work environment. Created thus a source of new, fully qualified Greek engineers. Meanwhile, the image of the area where the company operate is being improved with infrastructure, where is being invested up to 3 million Euros each year.

KATHIMERINI SUNDAY_SPECIAL EDITION, Kostas Georgatzis, 06.07.2015

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