Crisis hit Greece is considering to open up all gold mines across the country despite it's huge environmental impact, analysts said.
ATHENS(BullionStreet): Crisis hit Greece is considering to open up all gold mines across the country despite it's huge environmental impact, analysts said.
They said it will create jobs and pour hundreds of millions into the economy, as Greece struggles with a devastating financial crisis.
However, majority of them believes the amount of environmental damage that mining would do was not worth the economic gain.
They added that mining will endanger lives through pollution, wipe out precious forests and drive tourists away from a region of striking natural beauty.
Greece's major miner, Hellas Gold (Majority of it's stake owned by Eldorado Gold Corporation) holds mining licenses for an area covering 317 square kilometers with proven and probable reserves of lead, zinc, silver, gold and copper.
Eldorado intends to invest one billion euros in various mining operations in Greece as it expect mining activities to last 15 years or more.
Many see the foreign investment as vital to helping Greece emerge from what is essentially a depression, with a quarter of the workforce unemployed and the economy heading into a sixth year of recession.
There have been protests in Greece over this contentious issue in the past. Last November, for example, some 3,000 people protested the Halkidiki gold mine project.
It appears public sentiment is firmly against operations that would seek to restore the economy at the expense of Greece’s environment.
On the other hand, if the Hellas mine begins to produce, then Greece stands to become one of the largest gold producers in Europe over the next four years. And Eldorado’s stock has already gone up ever since it started speaking about the project.