UPDATE 1-Eldorado Kisladag appeal bounced to lower court

Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:07pm EST
 
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(Adds details from conference call)

TORONTO Feb 11 (Reuters) - Eldorado Gold Corp ELD.TO said on Monday it was unsure whether it will be able to reopen its Kisladag mine in Turkey following a Turkish high court announcement that it could not come to a decision on an appeal of an environmental permit.

The mine was shut in August, pending a ruling on an appeal of a lower court decision on the legality of the environmental impact assessment for the mine.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company said the court had concluded that existing expert reports were insufficient to make either a positive or negative decision on the merits of the case.

It said the injunction closing the mine had expired with the court's decision, and that the matter will now be returned to a lower administrative court.

On a conference call following the decision, Eldorado chief executive Paul Wright said he was optimistic the mine can be reopened now that the injunction has expired, but that he was not completely sure the company will be able to do so.

"We don't know, we have not been given direction from the appropriate ministry that would allow us to open the mine," he said.

"Our expectation is that we will receive direction that will allow us to reopen the mine in the interim," he said.

The company said it will consult with the Turkish environment ministry on its next step.

The mine produced about 135,000 ounces of gold last year before production was stopped on Aug. 18. (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway)