Debt-saddled Greece has a new revenue source in the form of two gold mines that have been approved by the country's environment minister, George Papaconstantinou, FT reported on Friday.
The newspaper said that European Goldfields has received final approval to build two large gold mines in northern Greece, named Olympias and Skouries, near Thessaloniki. The AIM-listed miner plans to spend $500 million to build the mines and a total of 1.3 billion euros throughout the life of the mines.
According to the FT article, the company will produce about 350,000 ounces of gold when the two new mines enter full production in 2015. That will increase to 500,000 ounces by 2015, including byproduct metals such as silver and lead.
The company's shares rose 9 per cent to 885 pence on the news, making it the third-largest company by market cap on AIM, according to FT.
European Goldfields launched its permitting application in 2006 but has faced years of delays. This has been compounded by political uncertainties in Greece, which last week passed a $40 billion austerity package amid sometimes-violent street protests that have erupted over the proposed depth of the cuts.
The austerity package is a precondition for receipt of further financial aid from the European Union, which it must receive in order to avoid defaulting on its massive debt.