Greek court hands small, but key victory to Eldorado Gold

Greek court hands small, but key victory to Eldorado Gold

Construction of Skouries mine and processing plant. (Satellite photo by Schizophonix | Wikimedia Commons)

One of Greece's top courts has handed a key victory to Eldorado Gold’s (TSX:ELD) (NYSE:EGO) plans to build a key processing plant at is Skouries gold-copper mine in northern Greece, as it rejected Monday a decision that blocked such proposal.

The ruling, Reuters reports, says the rejection of the company’s plan by a local environment and town planning authority back in 2013 had no legal grounds.

The Canadian company has invested more than $450 million since 2012 on construction and development of the Skouries and Olympias mines in Greece, and had planned to invest another $200 million this year to advance construction at Skouries.

Divisive issue

Skouries has had locals divided since early 2011, when the Eldorado’s subsidiary Hellenic Gold received government approval to mine in the northern peninsula.

Some claim the mine, owned 95% by Eldorado, may hurt tourism and the environment, while others believe the operation is good news for Greece because it will generate new jobs and bring hundreds of millions into the struggling economy.

Greek court hands small, but key victory to Eldorado Gold

Skouries — Grading and flotation buildings. (Image courtesy of Eldorado Gold)

Less than two weeks ago, over 4,000 people marched to Athens protesting potential, but massive, job losses as the new radical left-led government decided to revoke the company's licence to develop the plant and two mines in the Halkidiki area.

In February, the ministry of energy had said the government wouldn’t touch Skouries.

Truth is Skouries was the flagship project of the last government’s foreign investment drive and, for many, remains a test case that would reveal whether Greece is able to protect foreign investors despite local opposition.