Court allows Halkidiki gold mines to operate while it mulls verdict


The Council of State heard arguments on Friday from both sides in the dispute between the government and Hellas Gold over the mines in Halkidiki, northern Greece, and decided to allow the sites to operate until it delivers its verdict later this month.

The company appealed a decision taken by Energy Minister Panos Skourletis in August to suspend approval of its technical study, which was based on the fact Hellas Gold carried out tests on a flash-melting process at a company in Finland rather than at the site of the mines.

Hellas Gold told the country’s highest administrative court yesterday that where the test was carried out was irrelevant to its result. The state’s legal representative, though, insisted that the firm had not kept to the terms of its technical study.

The court decided to suspend the implementation of Skourletis’s decision until a final verdict has been reached before the end of the month.