Here at Eldorado Gold, we are working to build a leading mining jurisdiction in northern Greece. To realize the full potential of our polymetallic Skouries, Olympias and Stratoni mines (collectively known as the Kassandra Mines), we recently signed an amended Investment Agreement with the Hellenic Republic. It’s a major achievement that will bring lasting benefits to both the immediate region and Greece as a whole.
Opportunities for the Region
Our new plan for the mines means more jobs. We’re anticipating a team of more than 3,000 people working directly at our sites, more than double the number forecast by our previous plan, and our top priority is to recruit from the local area.
Our mines will also generate a significant number of indirect jobs, as we’ll be relying on Greek businesses and professional service companies to support our activities. Initial forecasts suggest that these companies could generate revenues of US$4 billion by supplying products and services throughout the construction and operation of our mines.
We’ve committed US$80 million to community projects over the life of the mines. This will include numerous initiatives focused in the areas of education, health, environmental, social and infrastructure projects which will be jointly decided on with our partners throughout the region.
Low Environmental Impact
While we adhere to strict European and Greek environmental regulations and are guided by industry frameworks, we don’t stop there. This means using best-in-class practices and innovations to ensure our operations are safe and always improving.
One example is our use of dry stacking tailings technology. This is where tailings (the waste product left over after the mineral extraction process) are dewatered and end up with a consistency similar to damp sand. Their higher solids content allows for multiple safety and environmental benefits.
In 2011, Eldorado pioneered the use of dry-stack tailings in Turkey. We have recently done the same in Greece by building the state-of-the-art Kokkinolakkas storage facility, to store tailings from Olympias and Stratoni. We are now proposing to use this technology at Skouries, which would reduce the project’s environmental footprint by 40%.
All our operational plans are designed from the ground up to minimize environmental impacts. They also include parallel land reclamation efforts, improved water management and comprehensive environmental monitoring systems.