Council of State to publish verdict rejecting minister’s appeal against Eldorado

Council of State to publish verdict rejecting minister’s appeal against Eldorado

The gold mine in Halkidiki where the government suspended work over concerns about a technical study is set to reopen as the Council of State appears to have rejected an appeal against the mining activity.

The country’s highest administrative court is not expected to publish its final decision until later this month but sources have told Kathimerini that following two sessions with Council of State president Nikos Sakellariou presiding, there was a majority verdict rejecting a decision by former energy minister Panos Skourletis to halt the work at the mine owned by Canada’s Eldorado Gold.

“The court ruled that the reasons cited by the Energy Ministry to suspend Eldorado’s license – failing to carry out laboratory safety tests in Greece – was not sufficient to revoke its permit,” a court official informed Reuters.

Nevertheless, the court president issued a statement insisting that consultations on the matter are continuing.

The chief executive of Eldorado Gold, Paul Wright, had earlier said that the company was confident of a positive decision and that it hoped the verdict would be published before the end of the year so that it could plan the schedule of the construction and mining work that lies ahead.

The Vancouver-based firm had appealed to the court to overturn a ban on its plans to develop a gold mine in the forested area of Skouries in northern Greece after Skourletis revoked its permit in August, saying that the tests for a flash-melting method the company will use to ensure that there will be no environmental damage did not take place on the spot but outside Greece.

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