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Greek state resorts to arbitration with Eldorado Gold over its Greek projects #skouries

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[Unofficial translation from http://www.kathimerini.gr/909772/article/oikonomia/epixeirhseis/me-prosfygh-sth-diaithsia-mplokarei-ek-neoy-to-kratos-thn-ependysh-ths-eldorado]

Kathimerini, 16-05-2017

A new “checkpoint”, this time through recourse to arbitration, puts the government in the way of Eldorado Gold mines in Halkidiki, causing a new rupture in the relationship with Eldorado executives.

Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis announced in an interview to the newspaper “Avgi” (“Dawn”) on Sunday that his ministry is preparing the process of arbitration between the Greek government and the company, in order, as he said, to decide on matters in the contract between the Greek state and the company and which have been the subject of controversy. “This method, this legal procedure is the most appropriate in order to respond to the contested issues with this investment,” he said.

This followed a meeting between Mr. Stathakis and the new CEO of Eldorado Gold, George Burns, with Burns’ predecessor Paul Wright, who visited Athens last Thursday and Friday seeking dialogue with the government on the open issues and also to contact and communicate with the other political parties and seek their support regarding the problems Eldorado Gold has encountered in Greece.

The executives of Eldorado Gold requested a meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, which was not possible, and failed to convince the minister to open a dialogue to resolve the open issues and avoid arbitration, which will lead to further delays investing in Skouries.

Mr. Burns and Mr. Wright felt a hostile climate on the government’s side, relaying their concerns to Mr. Stathakis about the progress of the project as well as their intentions to rethink their strategy. The shareholders of Hellas Gold (Eldorado Gold’s Greek subsidiary) are not likely willing to wait forever for the government to approve and grant the permits required and are taking their investing interest into other markets.

Returning from Greece, management of Eldorado announced an agreement for the acquisition of Integra Gold Corp. in Quebec from its headquarters in Vancouver. Upon completion, the total investment of the deal will be $590 million. With this deal Eldorado Gold will have ownership of the Lamaque project near Val-d’Or, Quebec, with estimated reserves of 5.1 million tons and proven reserves of 3.5 million tons.

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