As an underground hunger strike by over 120 workers in a northern Greek mine that faces closure entered its eighth day yesterday and the government repeated promises to do its best to keep the enterprise going, mining companies spelled doom for rescue efforts. The Association of Greek Mining Companies issued a statement saying it would be impossible to keep the Stratoniki lead and zinc mine in Halkidiki going for more than a very brief period unless exploitation of a nearby gold mine is given the go-ahead. The owner of both mines, TVX Hellas, filed for bankruptcy last month. The gold mine project was killed on environmental grounds following lawsuits by Halkidiki residents. Yesterday, the 120 Stratoniki hunger-strikers were visited by a priest who blessed the mine, and by Synaspismos Left Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos.