Eldorado Gold to cut workforce if installation license not granted by end-March

12 January 2016
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Eldorado Gold is cutting 600 jobs from its goldmine in Skouries in the next three months, while another 500 jobs in the Olympiada project were under threat if the company failed to receive the necessary installation license by the end of March, Paul Wright, chairman of the multinational company said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters, announcing the decisions to suspend investments in Skouries and of a possible suspension in Olympiada, Wright said that investments in the Stratonio mine, while the Perama and Sapes project in Thrace will be put under maintenance. The Skouries projects has a workforce of 682, of which 600 work for contractors. At the end of the quarter a total of 40-50 will remain for maintenance work and security, while if the investment was to progress another 500 workers would be hired.

Wright said Eldorado Gold will not leave Greece, unless the government asked the company to leave and expressed his optimism that a solution to the problem would be found. He said that since 2012 the Energy ministry and other public services have failed to issue the necessary licenses and approvals, while in 2015 the ministry moved a step forward and revoked certain basic licenses “without any obvious reason”. He said that both sides were binded by the law. “It is our responsibility to act according to environmental, labor and commercial regulations while it is legitimate and contract obligation of the Greek state to timely offer licenses and approvals to allow the investment to succeed,” he noted.

“To have large investments a cooperation with the state was necessary. This process should not be that painful,” Wright said, adding that “it would be difficult to say that Greece is a fantastic place to come and invest millions of dollars but the government has the chance to change that”. He linked the gold mine affair with an effort to attract foreign investments by saying that investors from the US and Europe were seeing Eldorado’s example.

The company’s management will have a series of meetings today and tomorrow in Athens, with political leaders, the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises and with Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis.

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