Greek block of Cana­dian pro­ject ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’: firm

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

Canada’s El­do­rado Gold on Thurs­day called a de­ci­sion by Greece to block ex­pan­sion work on a dis­puted gold­mine “en­tirely in­ap­pro­pri­ate,” and warned of a full halt of its ac­tiv­i­ties.

“We are most dis­ap­pointed and per­plexed by this en­tirely in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­ci­sion,” El­do­rado Gold chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Paul Wright said in a state­ment re­act­ing to the de­ci­sion dis­rupt­ing the group’s plans in the north­ern Halkidiki penin­sula.

He added that the com­pany’s Greek sub­sidiary Hel­las Gold “may be forced to sus­pend all its min­ing and de­vel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in Halkidiki due to this rash de­ci­sion.”

Greece’s en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter an­nounced the halt on Wed­nes­day over al­leged con­tract vi­o­la­tions.

Energy Min­is­ter Panos Sk­ourletis said he had or­dered a “tem­po­rary” sus­pen­sion of an ex­pan­sion dig on the moun­tain of Sk­ouries be­cause it “vi­o­lated the terms of its tech­ni­cal stud­ies.”

Wright said the dis­pute was over flash smelt­ing tests con­ducted in Fin­land, and which the Greek min­istry wanted done on­site in Halkidiki.

“We have re­ceived nu­mer­ous fa­vor­able de­ci­sions of the Coun­cil of State — Greece’s Supreme Court on ad­min­is­tra­tive and en­vi­ron­men­tal mat­ters — over the course of the last three years, which con­firm the le­gal­ity of our ac­tiv­i­ties in Halkidiki,” Wright said.

“We will once more take le­gal ac­tion... to safe­guard the rights of El­do­rado, Hel­las Gold, our Greek em­ploy­ees and the com­mu­ni­ties and stake­hold­ers that sup­port our projects in Halkidiki,” he said.

The in­vest­ment by Hel­las Gold, which al­ready op­er­ates other mines in the area, has deeply di­vided the lo­cal in­hab­i­tants, many of whom welcome the jobs cre­ated by the pro­ject.

Wright said the sus­pen­sion had put 5,000 di­rect and in­di­rect jobs in Greece at risk.

Anti-mine protesters claim the pro­ject will cause ir­re­versible harm to the en­vi­ron­ment, drain­ing and con­tam­i­nat­ing lo­cal wa­ter re­serves and fill­ing the air with haz­ardous chem­i­cals in­clud­ing lead, cad­mium, ar­senic and mer­cury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.