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The heavy price of Greek gold
Current stage of the project
Current stage of the project
Current stage of the project
Current stage of the project
Current stage of the project
Skouries on the map
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact Assessment
3,273 hectares (3,273,000 m2) of primeval forest
 Endangered plants
Beech with Ilex aquifolium and Taxus baccata rich in epiphytes
 Endangered and Threatened avifauna
Birds, reptiles (e.g. salamanders), jackals
Authorities that have expressed
objections to the project
 Environmental Council of Aristotle University of
Thessaloniki (AUTH)
 Technical Chamber of Central Macedonia, Greece
 Board of AUTH
 Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration
 Faculty of Agriculture and Greek Forestry Society
 Geological Association of Greece
Criticism on the project’s (approved)
Environmental Impact Assessment
Flash smelting, Finnish Outotec
 Application on copper sulphide ores (chalcopyrite)-> gold, copper,
lead and iron.
 Application on mixture chalcopyrite - arsenopyrite - pyrite mines of
northeastern Halkidiki
 Never applied in industrial scale for gold production.
 No reported separation method.
Criticism on the project’s (approved)
Environmental Impact Assessment
 Uncontrollable effects on the balance of the water
resources of the wider region
- interruption of the flow of existing sources
- shutdown irrigation and water supply wells
- possible salinization of coastal aquifers.
 Solid waste generation and
 Risk of Arsenic generation
An image that traveled the world
Stratoni beach, 2010
Stratoni beach - Blue Flag?
What are the monitored parameters?
The Microbiological parameters monitored are:
Enterococci - Intestinal enterococci (cfu/100 ml)
Coliforms - Escherichia coli (cfu/100 ml)
The Visual parameters monitored are:
Tarry residues, glass, plastic, rubber or any other waste. The purpose of visual tracking is
to control the presence of contaminants so that when such pollution, to take
appropriate management measures including public awareness.
Source: Special Secretariat for Water
Interesting economic relations
The company
Brief history of the project
 In 2003, assets of Cassandra Mines in Halkidiki previously owned by TVX
HELLAS, are transferred to the Greek State for 11 million euros.
 The state sells the mines to HELLAS GOLD S.A. for the same price without prior
economic assessment of the assets and without an open competition.
 The value of the minerals in Halkidiki is estimated at 15.5 billion euros.
 In 2008 the European Commission finds the transaction to be in violation of
EU competition rules and Greece is ordered to reclaim 15.3 million euros
from Hellas Gold.
 Greek Environment Minister Giorgos Papakonstantinou appeals to the court!
Brief history of the project
In July 2011, the Greek State approved the Environmental Impact Assessment.
According to the Greek Mining Regulation:
the mining company has full possession of the mineral contained in the
concessions granted and there are no royalties for the State
Hellas Gold enjoys tax relief and exception from damages from already existing
mines in the region
any activity that disturbs mining is prohibited in designated mining areas
private land can be expropriated
any protection status for areas designated as protected by national and
international conventions does not hold.
Examples of Canadian Mining
Thrace, Greece – ElDorado Gold – 2013
Galicia, Spain - Edgewater Resources – 2013
Santa Rosa, Guatemala - Tahoe Resources – 2013
Morelos, Mexico: Esperanza Resources – 2013
Honduras: Mining Law Reform – 2010-2012
Philippines: TVI Pacific – 2011 – 2012
Costa Rica: Infinito Gold – 2010
Chiapas, Mexico: Blackfire Exploration – 2007-2010
Ecuador: Mining Law Reform – 2008-2009
Guatemala: Glamis Gold – 2004
Mining Watch Canada
Private Property - No trespassing
Public and Private Police Forces
Excessive presence of police forces &
the attempt to criminalize the fight
 Citizens kidnapped by police forces
 Irrational use of chemicals (tear gas in schools, cars,
 Hundreds of residents (even young students) called to
report to police
 Phone calls transcripts between residents and local and
international journalists used as judicial material criminal
Human rights violations
Greece: Need for investigation of police conduct towards
residents of town objecting gold mining operation
uncontrollable use of chemicals
illegal DNA samples collection
denied access to a lawyer for ‘suspects’ of possible
involvement in the arson attack on the work site of Hellas
Hellas Gold
Corporate Social Responsibility
As part of its CSR strategy,
Hellas Gold is funding
 the Aristotle Municipality and
 the Greek police forces
Attempts to sponsor sport clubs
of northern Greece.
Massive demonstrations to
Save Skouries
Massive demonstrations to
Save Skouries
International day of mobilization
to save Skouries - London
International day of mobilization
to save Skouries - Paris
International day of mobilization
to save Skouries - Brussels
International day of mobilization
to save Skouries - Amsterdam
Demonstration in support of gold