A Golden Investment Project
George Markopoulos of Thracean Gold Mining S.A. discusses the major gold mining project the company will commence in Greece.
Briefly describe the investment project of Thracian Gold Mining (TGM) in Greece.
Nature has been generous in the region of Thrace, as far as the gold reserve in Perama, which is geographically located in a highland region away from urban centers, without any development pattern and proper for mining operations.
The Perama Hill gold project, located in the Northeastern Greece, in the border between the Rodopi and Evros Prefectures, is a late-stage development project in Greece. The Project, with presently defined proven and probable reserves of 975,000 ounces of gold, will be developed as an open pit mine producing approximately 120,000 ounces annually at cash costs projected to be less than US$300 per ounce. Total invested capital will be approximately 150 million Euros.
TGM is owned by a Canadian company. Please tell us the view of the parent company regarding the potential of this investment.
Eldorado Gold Corporation is a significant international mining company, with locations in China, Brazil, Turkey and Romania. Its headquarters are in Vancouver of Canada and it is a 100% shareholder of ‘Thrace Gold Mining’.
It is worth noting that the implementation and management of the Project will take place in an exemplary way, always within the framework of social dialogue with the participation of local authorities in the supervision mechanisms of operation and conformance of the Project and the direct reciprocal benefits for the local community.
The company plans to create thousands of jobs and billions in long-term investment in Greece in mining projects, and sees vast potential in Greece's known but so far undeveloped mineral resources.
Eldorado Gold and Thracean Gold Mining are committed to the highest standards, goals and policies to operate safely for the environment and to protect and enhance the welfare of the community in which they operate.
What impact do you estimate the investment will have on the Greek economy, the local economy, and employment?
Under the current difficult conditions and the ominous predictions for the future and with the effort that takes place for the development of all rich production sources of the country, the gold mining project in Perama constitutes the pillar for the economic strengthening of Thrace and support of the local community.
The immediate investment is estimated at 150 million Euros, and during the coming decade, another 190 million Euros will be invested in the region. 70% of the capital mentioned above, will be invested in the region of Thrace, while the Hellenic State will enjoy revenues from the direct taxation of the company which will be over 260 million Euros (Gold Price 1400 US dollars).
The Perama Hill Project is expected to provide employment for about 370 persons during construction and direct employment for 200 persons during operation, in addition to supporting significant levels of indirect employment in the area, characteristic of mining operations.
The company is completely open to dialogue with the local Authorities, the central Government and the local Community, and with a high regard of Corporate Social Responsibility it is looking forward to planning and implementing the project.
Greece’s Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change has recently approved the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) for the Perama project. This will, no doubt, give a boost to the progress of the investment.
During 2011, the Company worked closely with the Greek government to advance the processing of the Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment study. The Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change of the Hellenic Republic of Greece has approved the PEIA Study for the Perama Hill Gold Deposit in February 2012. A few days ago the Greek government entered our application to the Fast Track process. In order to move the permitting process forward, the company has prepared the final Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Study, which will be submitted to the Ministry by the end of March 2012. Upon receipt of all permits and licenses we will make a construction decision. Construction is expected to commence in the second half of 2012.
The project is characterised by the Greek Government as a key development project, socially beneficial and absolutely positive for the development of the region and improvement of the local community’s prosperity. We are pleased that the Greek Government endorses the Perama Hill project, which will provide positive signals for exploration and further development of the significant mineral resources in Northern Greece.
Even though Greece is experiencing a very difficult fiscal challenge, you and the Canadian investors are committed to investing in Greece. Does Greece represent an attractive investment location for you, despite its current challenges?
There is no better time to build the project in Greece. The Greek government has showed support and a willingness to work with us and we see this as an opportunity to generate jobs for a country that has struggled with unemployment over the last few years, among other issues.
Eldorado Gold Corporation, at this present moment, in the midst of the economic crisis we are facing, shows that it trusts Greece and promotes investments here.