UPDATE 2-Greek court rules Eldorado Gold can resume mining in northern Greece

Fri Oct 2, 2015 3:48pm EDT
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(Adds comment by Eldorado's executive)

ATHENS Oct 2 (Reuters) - Canada's Eldorado Gold can temporarily resume mining operations in northern Greece until a final court ruling is made, Greece's top administrative court said on Friday.

Eldorado had appealed to Greece's top court to overturn a ban on its plans to develop a gold mine in a forested area of northern Greece, in a case widely seen as a test of the leftist government's approach to foreign investment.

The Vancouver-based gold miner's venture to extract gold and other ores on the verdant Halkidiki peninsula is seen as one of the top investments in a country racked by a debt crisis since the end of 2009.

The court cancelled on Friday an energy ministry decision that halted operations in Halkidiki until a final ruling is made later in October, favouring an appeal by workers at the mining company.

The company said after the ruling that it planned to resume operations and call its workers back to work.

"As soon as we are officially notified of this court ruling we will bring our workers back to work," Eldorado's country manager for Greece, Eduardo Moura, told Reuters.

Eldorado has put in more than $600 million since 2012 and plans to invest another $1 billion in its quest for gold, copper and zinc in the region.

But after Greece's left-wing government revoked its permit in August, citing environmental grounds, Eldorado suspended all its activities at the mine and made two thirds of its 1,300 workers temporarily redundant.   Continued...