VIDEO: Canadian ambassador defends destructive mine in northern Greece

Brent Patterson
9 years ago
Ambassador Robert Peck

Ambassador Robert Peck

Canadian ambassador to Greece Robert Peck recently met with Alexandroupolis mayor Evangelos Labakis about a controversial Vancouver-based Eldorado gold mine in northern Greece. Bloomberg has reported, "Eldorado is developing European Goldfields’ Skouries and Olympias mines (in Halkidiki in Central Macedonia) and the Perama Hill project (in Eastern Macedonia) that it already owned. Gold mining is gathering momentum after Greece began what it called a ‘fast-track’ approvals programme. In 2011, Greece implemented the Fast Track programme to spur investment in projects of national importance, including gold mines. The environment ministry has accelerated the issue of permits." In a TV news report, the ambassador tells the mayor that the Canadian government supports the Perama Hill mine, and that the Greek government has given permission for the mine through their Fast Track approval program. But the mayor tells him that the mine will destroy the environment and that they will continue to resist the mine. The video (in Greek) can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XuIfISfXD8. In November 2012, the Associated Press reported, "About 3,000 protesters have marched in the northern Greek city (of Thessaloniki) in protest against what they claim are environment-threatening gold mining projects. Riot police barred the protesters’ intended route to the Canadian Consulate on (November 24), but no incidents were reported. Canadian company Eldorado Gold Corp. is involved in four gold mining projects, all in northern Greece. …Opponents of the projects include owners of houses rented to tourists, environmentalists and leftist activists opposed to any foreign investment." According to a media release issued by the company late last week: Olympias - "Olympias was acquired by the Company in February 2012 as part of the EGU transaction. The Olympias orebody is a carbonate replacement deposit containing proven and probable gold reserves of 3.8 million ounces of gold with significant lead and zinc values." Skouries - "Skouries is a copper\gold porphyry deposit that the Company plans to develop using both open pit and underground mining methods. The deposit currently hosts proven and probable reserves of 3.6 million ounces of gold and 743,000 tonnes of copper." Perama Hill - "The Ministry of Environment completed the review of the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) application and issued the Approval of the PEIA study in February 2012. Processing of the EIA will be carried out under the Fast Track program established by the Greek government in 2012. Approval of the EIA is expected to be received in the first quarter of 2013." News reports have noted that the Olympias and Skouries gold mines which are expected to enter full production by 2015. For more, please read: NEWS: Vancouver-based mining company threatens Greece’s water, trees under austerity measures VIDEO: Women protest Canadian mining company’s forest cutting in Greece