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Greece prepares for arbitration over Eldorado Gold mine plans

Greece's Energy Minister George Stathakis has asked legal advisers to start an arbitration process to settle differences with Eldorado Gold Corp. over the company's plans for developing gold mines, Reuters reported June 8, citing a statement from the ministry.

Stathakis did not specify terms or the assets for which Greece is seeking arbitration, but Eldorado Gold and Greek authorities have been butting heads for years over testing methods being applied to check environmental compliance and permitting delays.

"The aim is to safeguard public interest by developing the region's mineral resources in line with the existing environmental terms and standards," the report quoted the ministry as saying.

Last week, a ministry official told the newswire that the arbitration panel will comprise a government-selected judge, an Eldorado-selected judge and a third judge selected by the president of Greece's Supreme Court. The panel's decisions will be binding, but parties can add a further appeal.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based company is developing the Skouries and Olympias gold properties in northern Greece and also operates the underground Stratoni silver-lead-zinc mine in the country.

Previously, the Greek government stopped operations at Eldorado's mines in August 2015, a decision that was overturned later that year by the country's top court.