Eldorado Falls as Greece Halts Project on Environment Study

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Eldorado Gold Corp. fell after the Greek government said it would temporarily halt development of the Skouries project because the company had violated the terms of environmental studies.

Eldorado, which has been battling to develop Skouries in the face of government opposition, fell 7.1 percent to C$5.07 at 4 p.m. in Toronto, the biggest decline since July 17. The Vancouver-based producer has dropped 28 percent this year.

The Skouries gold and copper project in northern Greece has attracted opposition concerned about its environmental impact. In 2013, police said they made arrests after masked attackers burned cars and machinery at the mine.

The company “has violated the terms of technical studies of the project,” Energy Minister Panagiotis Skourletis told reporters Wednesday in Athens, according to a transcript of his comments sent by the Athens-based ministry. “With my decision today we recall the approvals of the technical studies. This means a temporary halt of the company’s operations in Skouries.”

In a statement released late Wednesday, Eldorado said technical studies related to its Skouries and Olympias projects were suspended after notification from the energy ministry, with work continuing at all its projects near Halkidiki in northern Greece.

Eldorado’s assets in Greece, which include the Olympias project, represent about a third of its operating net-asset-value per share, RBC Capital Markets’ analysts Dan Rollins and Mark Mihaljevic said Wednesday in a note to clients. Eldorado also has assets in Turkey, China, Brazil and Romania.

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