Eldorado Gold, listed on both the TSX and NYSE, today confirmed that their Skouries Project in Greece was attacked by a group of 50 masked armed men, just after midnight, Sunday, February 17, 2013.
There were approximately 50 persons in the masked and armed group. They illegally entered the Skouries Project in the Municipality of Aristotle, Halkidiki, Greece.
Two of Eldorado Gold’s security personnel were assaulted, one of whom sustained sufficient injuries to require hospitalization. He has since been released from the hospital.
After assaulting the onsite security personnel, the armed group set fire to Eldorado Gold’s temporary construction offices, several trucks and some heavy equipment. Most of the equipment was not owned by Eldorado Gold, but by local contractors. The fires have since been extinguished and the site has been secured.
Local police were called, and they are investigating the incident. The Company says it is cooperating with police and other relevant authorities to ensure the ongoing safety of employees and assets.
Speaking about the incident, Paul Wright, Eldorado Gold Corporation CEO, said, “While we respect the right of individuals to voice their opinions in a safe, legal and responsible manner, we fully condemn any activities that put the safety of our employees, contractors and assets at risk. The Company is in possession of all permits required to operate legally at its projects in Halkidiki. These projects are licensed under an Environmental Impact Assessment which consisted of an exhaustive technical review as well as comprehensive public consultations. In Halkidiki, as in all our mining operations throughout the world, we operate to the highest environmental standards complying with all local, national and international laws and regulations.”
Eldorado Gold is a Canadian gold producing exploration and development company.
Halkidiki is a mainly agricultural area, and locals say the mining operation is causing problems for their lives and livelihoods.
Gold was mined in the region during antiquity by Philip II of Macedon and the next rulers. As of 2013 a revival of mining for gold and other minerals was underway with a number of concessions having been granted to Eldorado Gold of Canada. However, critics claim that mining would adversely affect tourism and the environment. – Wikipedia