This gold mining CEO was paid $75,000 every working day

Paul Wright - CEO Eldorado Gold

Paul Wright speaking at press conference December 2011 to announce $1.5 billion investment in Greece

Business in Vancouver, tallies the salaries, bonuses and stock options earned by British Columbia’s top CEO every year and gold miners again dominate the rich list released today.

The Canadian province’s top 100 executives were paid a collective $360 million in 2012 with nearly half of that going into the pockets of the 25 highest earners.

Top honours goes Paul Wright, the CEO of Eldorado Gold (TSE:ELD) who received an inflation-busting 64% pay hike to bring his total pay package for the year to $18.7 million.

That’s just under $75,000 for every working day of the year at the miner that’s worth $6 billion on the Toronto stock exchange.

But after a 34% drop in market cap for Eldorado since January, Wright’s $4 million in share-based compensation and $3 million bonus may not be forthcoming this year.

Eldorado’s president Norman Pitcher also makes the top 20 list at lucky number 13 with just over $6 million in remuneration.

Last week Eldorado announced 2013 capital expenditure cuts of 35%, as well as minimum yearlong delays at three key European gold mining projects.

The Greece delays will take place at the Perama and Skouries sites, where Eldorado is up against firm opposition from local and environmental groups.

Company property was attacked in February of this year by masked arsonists on the Halkidiki peninsula, the location of Skouries.

Eldorado will also postpone production at the Certej project, Romania.

Gold miners are well represented in the top 10 with NovaGold’s Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse taking home $10.8 million, compared to $5.7 million the year before.

Van Nieuwenhuyse has since moved to spun-off NovaCopper and Gregory Lang, number 7 on the list with $8.7 million in the bank for the year, has taken over at NovaGold.

NovaGold, which swung into a loss in its most recent quarter and is now worth less than $1 billion on the TSX, appear to be a generous paymaster with six executives in the top 100, beating out entertainment giant Lions Gate and Goldcorp.

Don Lindsay, president and CEO of diversified miner Teck Resources (TSE:TCK) also makes the $10 million-plus club, while Charles Jeannes of Goldcorp (TSE:G,NYSE:GG), which this year overtook Barrick Gold as the world’s most valuable gold miner pocketed just under $9.4 million.

Two former executives of Ivanhoe Mines, before Rio Tinto took majority control and renamed the Mongolia-focused miner to Turquoise Hill Resources, John Macken ($8.8 million) and Peter Meredith ($7.2 million) at number six and eight, bring mining’s representation in the top 10 to eight.

Click here for the complete Top 100 list.