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Greece seeks to kickstart stalled Eldorado gold mine investment

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ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s recently-elected government wants a stalled gold mine investment by Canada’s Eldorado <ELD.TO> to be revived, its energy minister said on Tuesday after meeting company executives.

Vancouver-based Eldorado has two operating mines and two development projects in northern Greece but has struggled with permit delays at one location, Skouries, for years.

Its planned investment in Greece has been viewed as one of the biggest in the country in years.

Eldorado halted construction in November 2017 at Skouries, which has reserves of 3.7 million ounces of gold and 1.7 billion pounds of copper, citing mainly environmental permit delays.

“We want this investment to come to life. We want to tie up loose ends,” Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told Skai TV. “It is a New Democracy commitment,” he said, referring to the ruling party.

Hatzidakis was speaking after he and his deputy met with Eldorado’s president and CEO George Burns and other executives.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s conservative government took over this month from leftist former prime minister Alexis Tsipras, on pledges to attract more investment into the economy.

The energy ministry said the government “underlined its will to support the investment with respect, of course, to all environmental terms.”

Greece accounts for 42% of Eldorado’s operating net asset value.

In September, the company said it would seek 750 million euros (672.13 million pounds) from the government in damages it attributed to the delays.

(This story was refiled to correct spelling in headline.)

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Writing by Karolina Tagaris; editing by David Evans)

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