The EBRD is investing CAD 81.5m (c. USD 60 million) in Eldorado Gold Corporation (Eldorado or the Company), a Canada-based mining company with operations across Türkiye, Greece, and Canada. The Bank's financing will support the development of the Skouries copper-gold project operated by Hellas Gold S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eldorado (the Project). The Skouries mine, part of the Kassandra mines complex, is located in the Halkidiki Peninsula of Northern Greece and is the key growth driver of Eldorado.
The proposed transaction represents the Bank's first mining investment in Greece. The Bank's involvement in the Project will support one of the largest foreign investors in the country with an extensive global experience in mining operations and development.
The EBRD's investment will be used to finance the development, construction and operation of the Skouries copper-gold project in Greece. The Project will enable the Company to expand into copper production over the next 20 years, which is in addition to its existing polymetallic production at the Olympias mine in Greece, and hence increase the support for long-term mining of a critical metal for the green transition.
ETI score: 69
Inclusive: The project will promote human capital development in mining and quarrying in Greece, by developing national occupational skills standards on digital skills and by scaling up market-relevant work-based training programmes for young people and long tenured workers. The Company will also aim to increase the share of women in its workforce and foster women's access to skills and employment opportunities in the mining sector in Greece.
Green: The Project is in line with the Bank's Green Energy Transition (GET) approach under the "Mining for climate action" pillar, as it will support the sustainable mining of copper, a critical metal for the green transition. Copper is crucial for many applications in today's economy, as it is prevalently used in or critical to renewable energy, technologies that increase energy efficiency, other low-carbon technologies, and materials and products with low embedded GHG emissions.
ELDORADO GOLD CORPORATION
Eldorado Gold Corp (TSX: ELD, NYSE: EGO) is a Canada-based gold and base metals producer with a diversified portfolio of operations and assets in Türkiye, Canada and Greece, including the Skouries copper-gold mine in Greece that owns via its wholly-owned subsidiary Hellas Gold S.A. (Hellas Gold).
EBRD Finance Summary
USD 60,000,000.00 / CAD 81,500,000.00
Total Project Cost
Additionality stems from the following:
- Risk mitigation: the EBRD's participation is expected to mitigate the project's exposure to regulatory, political and permitting risks.
- Standard setting: the Company makes use of EBRD expertise on higher environmental and gender standards. The Company aims to increase the share of women in its workforce and foster women's access to skills and employment opportunities in the mining sector.
- Financing structure: EBRD's involvement is strategic for the Project providing the Company with necessary funding and a strategic partner in deploying best available social and environmental practices.
Environmental and Social Summary
Categorised A (2019 ESP). The Project involves the development of the copper-gold Skouries mine in Greece, which may be associated with various E&S risks. The Project is expected to create additional local jobs, increase local skills and provide supply chain opportunities and community investment programmes as well as tax revenues for Greece. Skouries, which is partially complete and has been on care and maintenance since 2018, has undergone a comprehensive ESIA (including management plans) which was disclosed on 15 July 2022. This ESIA also considers the rest of the nearby Kassandra mines where various Company investments are planned. The ESIA was subject to review by an international consultant and the Bank. A comprehensive ESIA disclosure and consultation programme was undertaken including focus group meetings with key stakeholders, and open house events including the communities, trade unions and the local CSOs. The ESIA disclosure process was observed by the Bank and its consultant and determined to be in line with the Bank's requirements. The Bank's consultant also conducted E&S due diligence of the Company's corporate provisions and its operations in Türkiye and Canada on account of the Bank's corporate equity. A Project ESAP was disclosed with the ESIA and has now been updated. In addition, a corporate ESAP has been developed to align corporate provisions and non-Greek assets with the Bank's E&S requirements. These ESAPs have been agreed with the Company.
Historically, Skouries has been subject to political and stakeholder opposition with significant protests and interventions by the authorities occurring during 2012 and 2013. These events have not occurred since and while Skouries was halted, the rest of the Kassandra mines continued to operate. In the forecoming years, the Company has significantly enhanced its approach to E&S impact management and monitoring. This included additional studies and ongoing restoration of legacy pollution areas (from previous operator) and setting up an independent technical monitoring committee. As part of its environmental obligations, the Company discloses environmental monitoring indicators and submits technical reports (including environment) to a number of authorities and interested parties. The Company has also significantly improved its stakeholder engagement processes.
In March 2021, 11 national and international environmental NGOs published an open letter voicing their concerns and stating that the ratification of the agreement with the Company overturns the environmental acquis and conceals possible violations of EU law. During the meetings of the Standing Committee on Production and Trade of the Hellenic Parliament, these NGOs were invited to present their views to the Hellenic Parliament and only one out of 11 NGOs raised concerns. Hellas Gold also responded to the open letter in April 2021 describing its commitments and investments aimed to further reduce the impacts of the Project and shared the ESIA package for their review in 2022 and invited the NGOs to a live consultation event to express their views. There has been no written or verbal feedback provided by these NGOs during the ESIA disclosure process.
In September 2022, the Bank received communications from a group of local organisations objecting to the Project (separate from the NGOs mentioned above). These organisations are located primarily within a community that is not directly affected by the Project. The Bank has responded to this communication detailing how the various concerns have been addressed in the ESIA. The Company is committed to continue its stakeholder engagement activities to build up trust with local and national stakeholders through the implementation of its SEP. The Company has developed a human rights policy and agreed to develop and implement a security and human rights management plan in line with Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights noting historic protests and opposition. The Company has committed to allocate USD 80 million for a community investment programme over the next 25 years that will be agreed with local communities and municipalities.
The ESIA includes the national EIA (in line with EU requirements), developed at the request of the authorities to reflect the revised Investment Agreement for the Kassandra mines, and various supplementary E&S assessments to align with EBRD's requirements. Skouries is included in the national EIA but its approval, including its approach to tailings management, was already granted through an "EIA Modification" (modifying the 2010 EIA) in 2021. Approval of the national EIA was granted on 7 April 2023 by the Ministry of Environment and Energy. Key issues considered in the ESIA, and also raised by stakeholders, include impacts from legacy mining activities inherited from the previous operator, traffic, dust, vibration, pollution, worker influx, physical climate risks and community H&S as well as impacts on tourism, livelihoods, cultural heritage, water and biodiversity. The Project includes controls to avoid and reduce impacts and has in place various E&S management plans including for labour management, community investment and health and safety risks. The Company has updated the mine design to further reduce water requirements and mitigate impact. The Project is not associated with acid mine drainage and includes a best in class approach to tailings management (dry stack tailings). Skouries has required the acquisition of land and a review has confirmed that land was acquired on a willing-buyer willing-seller basis and no significant livelihood impacts have occurred. No significant ecosystem service impacts are expected. Cultural heritage has previously been identified on the Skouries site and the protection and relocation of such heritage is being conducted with the relevant authorities.
The Kassandra mines, including Skouries, have a footprint that is expected to increase; however, none of the mines or support infrastructure are located in protected areas. However, the footprint has impacted and will impact habitats which have been assessed as critical habitat. To address this, and to achieve a net gain in biodiversity as per EBRD's PR6, the Project will continue its re-vegetation of legacy impact areas, commits to reinstating and re-vegetating the mines following closure and will implement an ongoing programme of conservation initiatives offsite in partnership with the forestry authorities.
A key requirement of the Bank's equity is that all Company operations need to be aligned with the Bank's E&S requirements and that future mine developments will be subject to ESIAs. The additional ESDD commissioned by the Bank concluded that the Company has in place E&S provisions, which broadly align with the Bank's requirements. No material risks or red flags were identified for the Turkish or Canadian operations. The Company is in the process of divesting the Romanian asset. Some minor actions have been identified to fully align corporate provisions and asset level operations with the Bank's requirements (corporate ESAP).
The Bank and its consultants will monitor the Project through site visits and E&S reporting to the Bank.
Technical Cooperation and Grant Financing
Company Contact Information
Louise McMahon, Director Communications & Public Affairs
Eldorado Gold Corporation 1188 Bentall 5 550 Burrard Street Vancouver, BC V6C 2B5 Canada
PSD last updated
15 Jun 2023
Further information regarding the EBRD’s approach to measuring transition impact is available here.
For business opportunities or procurement, contact the client company.
For business opportunities with EBRD (not related to procurement) contact:
Tel: +44 20 7338 7168
Specific enquiries can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.
Environmental and Social Policy (ESP)
The ESP and the associated Performance Requirements (PRs) set out the ways in which the EBRD implements its commitment to promoting “environmentally sound and sustainable development”. The ESP and the PRs include specific provisions for clients to comply with the applicable requirements of national laws on public information and consultation as well as to establish a grievance mechanism to receive and facilitate resolution of stakeholders’ concerns and grievances, in particular, about environmental and social performance of the client and the project. Proportionate to the nature and scale of a project’s environmental and social risks and impacts, the EBRD additionally requires its clients to disclose information, as appropriate, about the risks and impacts arising from projects or to undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders and consider and respond to their feedback.
More information on the EBRD’s practices in this regard is set out in the ESP.
Integrity and Compliance
The EBRD's Office of the Chief Compliance Officer (OCCO) promotes good governance and ensures that the highest standards of integrity are applied to all activities of the Bank in accordance with international best practice. Integrity due diligence is conducted on all Bank clients to ensure that projects do not present unacceptable integrity or reputational risks to the Bank. The Bank believes that identifying and resolving issues at the project assessment approval stages is the most effective means of ensuring the integrity of Bank transactions. OCCO plays a key role in these protective efforts, and also helps to monitor integrity risks in projects post-investment.
OCCO is also responsible for investigating allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct in EBRD-financed projects. Anyone, both within or outside the Bank, who suspects fraud or corruption should submit a written report to the Chief Compliance Officer by email to email@example.com. All matters reported will be handled by OCCO for follow-up. All reports, including anonymous ones, will be reviewed. Reports can be made in any language of the Bank or of the Bank's countries of operation. The information provided must be made in good faith.
Access to Information Policy (AIP)
The AIP sets out how the EBRD discloses information and consults with its stakeholders so as to promote better awareness and understanding of its strategies, policies and operations following its entry into force on 1 January 2020. Please visit the Access to Information Policy page to find out what information is available from the EBRD website.
Specific requests for information can be made using the EBRD Enquiries form.
Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM)
If efforts to address environmental, social or public disclosure concerns with the Client or the Bank are unsuccessful (e.g. through the Client’s Project-level grievance mechanism or through direct engagement with Bank management), individuals and organisations may seek to address their concerns through the EBRD’s Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM).
IPAM independently reviews Project issues that are believed to have caused (or to be likely to cause) harm. The purpose of the Mechanism is: to support dialogue between Project stakeholders to resolve environmental, social and public disclosure issues; to determine whether the Bank has complied with its Environmental and Social Policy or Project-specific provisions of its Access to Information Policy; and where applicable, to address any existing non-compliance with these policies, while preventing future non-compliance by the Bank.
Please visit the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism webpage to find out more about IPAM and its mandate; how to submit a Request for review; or contact IPAM via email firstname.lastname@example.org to get guidance and more information on IPAM and how to submit a request.