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.