New Greek govt. ‘absolutely against’ Eldorado Gold mine, shares dive

New Greek govt. ‘absolutely against’ Eldorado Gold mine, shares dive

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

Greece leftist new government has slammed the door on Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp (TSX:ELD) (NYSE:EGO) Skouries project, saying it is “absolutely against it.”

Speaking to Reuters, energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, who represents the more radical wing of the ruling Syriza party, refused to say whether the new leaders would try to block the project from moving forward. However, he did say the government will “examine its next moves on it.”

Shares in the company nosedived on the news. They were trading 17.59% down to $44.59 in New York  at 12:12 ET and have dropped 16.95% to $5.83 in Toronto.

The proposed mine has had locals divided since early 2011, when the Vancouver-based firm’s subsidiary Hellenic Gold received government approval to mine in the northern peninsula.

Some claim the mine, owned 95% by Eldorado Gold, 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.

Last week the company announced it was committing about $200 million this year to develop Skouries mine, and expected to complete construction in late 2016.

The project is one of the biggest foreign investments in Greece.