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Armed group attacks Eldorado’s Skouries gold project in Greece

Publishing Date
18 Feb 2013 10:32am GMT
Mining Journal

A masked and armed group illegally entered and assaulted security personnel at Eldorado Gold Corp’s Skouries gold project in Halkidiki, northern Greece on November 17, and set fire to offices, trucks and heavy equipment.

The site has been the target of protests in the past – some of them violent – by activists who claim ancient forests are being destroyed.

Two security personnel were attacked by the 50-strong group, with one admitted to hospital and subsequently released.

The flames were extinguished and the site secured, said the company, which is co-operating with the police.

In June last year, the Council of State of Greece – the country's Supreme Administrative Court – issued a provisional order suspending any intervention in a forest area in Halkidiki owned by Eldorado’s 95% owned subsidiary, Hellas Gold S.A, after opposition to tree clearing at the project.

In July, the Council revoked the suspended order and Hellas was able to proceed with site clearing work.

Paul Wright, chief executive of Eldorado Gold said on Sunday: “While we respect the right of individuals to voice their opinions in a safe, legal and responsible manner, we full condemn any activities that put the safety of our employees, contractors and assets at risk.

“The company is in possession of all permits required to operate legally at its projects in Halkidiki,” Wright added.

As of December 2010, Eldorado had proven and probable reserves of 3.6Moz of gold and 0.7Mt of copper at Skouries. It planned to spend US$132 million this year to develop the project, Eldorado said last month.

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