A part of our overall Kassandra Mines Complex in northern Greece, the Skouries project represents one of the largest foreign direct investments in the country and will enable Greece to become one of the leading gold-producing nations in Europe. With an estimated mine life of approximately 20 years, Skouries is expected to produce an average of 140,000 ounces of gold and 67 million pounds of copper per year.
But Skouries isn’t only notable for its expected production. The project represents a unique opportunity to lead the way with sustainable mining practices.
Introducing dry-stack tailings
The Skouries project design includes dry-stack tailings, an innovative method that makes the tailings management process safer and provides additional environmental benefits compared to other tailings management options. We’re already successfully using dry-stack tailings at our Efemçukuru operation in Türkiye and our Olympias Mine in Greece. Additional benefits include:
With dry-stack tailings, up to 90% of the water is removed using filtration. These de-watered solids (with a consistency like moist sand) are then conveyed and compacted in the storage facility to form a geotechnically stable solid. Dry-stack tailings significantly mitigate issues of stability and water seepage, which are key risk factors of conventional wet tailings facilities.
Dry-stack tailings result in a smaller operational footprint, further minimizing our environmental impact. At Skouries, only one downstream embankment will need to be constructed, rather than the two which would have been required with conventional wet tailings management.
In the past, reclamation was often viewed as something that occurs after a mine is closed. But we believe that reclaiming unused areas as we progress our operations is better for the environment, our workforce and local communities. At Skouries, reclamation will take place alongside mining activities so that the site can be progressively returned to its original condition – as closely as possible, as early as possible.
Dry stack technology enables the maximum amount of water to be recycled and reused in the production cycle, which minimizes the consumption of fresh water.
We carefully plan, design and build operations to mitigate our environmental impacts – and the Skouries project is no different. The project is set to transform Greece’s economic future and our subsidiary, Hellas Gold, is leading the way with responsible and innovate environmental practices.