Greece says will respect court ruling due on Eldorado's mining licence

Tue Nov 3, 2015 7:53am EST
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ATHENS Nov 3 (Reuters) - Greece's energy ministry will respect an upcoming court ruling on its decision to revoke Canadian-listed company Eldorado Gold's mining licence in northern Greece, it said on Tuesday.

Court officials said on Monday that the majority of Greece's top administrative court, the Council of State, favoured the annulment of a government decision which revoked Eldorado's mining licence in northern Greece and that the decision was expected to be published later this month.

The Vancouver-based gold miner 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 Energy Ministry on Tuesday said it was had not been officially notified of such a court decision but will respect it once it is published.

"In any case, the Environment Ministry respects court decisions and awaits the issuance of the decision of the Council of State on this specific matter," it said in a statement.

Although court officials said the majority of the judges ruled in favour of overturning the government decision on Eldorado, a statement from the President of the Court later said consultations on the matter would continue.

Greece's left-wing government revoked its permit in August, saying that the tests on the so-called flash-melting method the company will use to ensure that there will be no environmental damage did not take place on the spot but outside Greece.

Eldorado then suspended all its activities at the mine and made two thirds of its 1,300 workers temporarily redundant but resumed work after a favourable temporary court ruling last month. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, editing by Louise Heavens)