The president of Hellenic Gold, Christos Balaskas, announced the cessation of activities and the maintenance status of the Mines in Mavres Petres during a press conference, as, as he said, there are no reserves of ores and it presents financial losses.
This is one of the three mines (Olympiada, Stratoni – Mavres Petres – Skouries) of the total Kassandra Mines in Halkidiki that is exploited by the Canadian Eldorado Gold through its subsidiary Hellenic Gold.
Mr. Balaskas presented the strategic roadmap of the company for the development of all the mines of Kassandra during four years 2021-2024 with the name “Evolution”. The strategic plan comes as a follow-up to the investment agreement ratified by parliament last March. The president of the company noted the realization of investments in the four years amounting to 2 billion. with the creation of 3,000 jobs, however he stressed the need for financial consolidation for the viability of the company. He said that the accumulated losses amount to 500 million euros, while for 2020 the losses were of the order of 80 million euros. He also explained that all these years Hellenic Gold owes 1 billion. in the parent Eldorado Gold.
Mavres Petres mine is entering a maintenance regime and it made it known that an effort is being made to maintain the 300 jobs by moving them to the Olympiada mine. In fact, workers’ unions are being consulted. Geological research will continue in Mavres Petres, while it should be noted that this mine produced silver, lead and zinc.
“For the four years that are running, the primary goal is the consolidation of Hellenic Gold and the guarantee of sustainability”, noted Mr. Balaskas, presenting the main stations of “Evolution” and specifically of the first phase of the four years 2021-2024. We are starting preliminary projects for the Skouries Mine
Referring to the issue of financing as the company has in front of it the big project of the construction of the enrichment factory in Skouries, he said that “the messages are good. The financing will be done in combination with bank lending and the entry of a strategic investor, who, however, will have a minority stake. Eldorado Gold will retain the majority of the shares and the management of the Kassandra Mines “.
According to Mr. Balaskas, Hellenic Gold will submit the new environmental impact study for the Skouries project in November, while the feasibility study for financing by the banking sector and potential investors will be completed in the same month. “There is a huge investment interest”, said the president of the company, who estimated that at the beginning of the new year the Environmental Impact Study will be approved, in order to take the investment decision for the project of 800 million euros in Skouries.
In addition, the company will create in 2022 a Technical Training Center for the staff, while by March 2023 it will submit the metallurgy study. By the end of 2024, the Skouria enrichment plant will have been put into production.
Employees and technology
The president of the company announced the reorganization of the company and the structure in terms of human capital and justified the need for technical specialization through the Technical Training Center. He also noted that the return will be combined with the amount of fees.
In the context of economic consolidation and productivity growth, he argued that “the company will not reduce staff but will use modern technologies to improve productivity. Such as the development of a 4G network in the underground mines for the purpose of remote control of equipment, machinery and other activities “.
For Skouries, he placed great emphasis on the environmental design of the project, speaking of a “state of the art” in terms of the relevant methods being developed. And he mentioned the technology of dry disposal that will result in a 40% reduction of the environmental footprint. The investment will amount to 130 million euros.
Mr. Balaskas also spoke about the Olympiada mine, saying that it remains unprofitable, but estimating that in a year it will return to profitability.
Finally, regarding the corporate social responsibility actions, the president of Hellenic Gold said that out of the total 70 million euros τhe first 15 million euros to be allocated to the municipality of Aristotelis will be disbursed in the first four years for emblematic projects.