Skouries is expected to begin production in the second half of 2025. (Image courtesy of Eldorado Gold.)
Canada’s Eldorado Gold (TSX: ELD)(NYSE: EGO) expects production to significantly increase over the next five years thanks to the addition of the Skouries gold-copper mine in northern Greece.
The company’s board approved in December a full restart of construction activities at Skouries, which has reserves of 3.7 million ounces of gold and 1.7 billion pounds of copper.
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The project was halted from 2017 to 2021 due to government delays in issuing permits and community opposition. After inking a new investment contract with Greece in early 2021, Eldorado has been focused on resuming construction at Skouries, which is tied to securing financing.
The mine is now expected to begin production in the second half of 2025, boosting the company’s total gold output to between 675,000 and 735,000 ounces by 2027. That’s a 55% jump from the 475,000 to 525,000 gold ounces forecast for 2023.
President and CEO George Burns noted that Skouries is also slated to produce on average 67 million pounds of copper per year.
The world is currently facing a global shortage of the orange metal, with demand rising due mainly to its use in electric vehicles (EVs).
Electric cars contain more than twice as much copper as gasoline-powered vehicles, according to the Copper Alliance.
Experts agree on estimating that the decarbonization of power networks, transportation and industry will require far more copper than what is currently available.
The start of commercial production at Skouries, Burns noted, will contribute to the supply chain of critical minerals in a socially and environmentally responsible way. “[It will also] reduce our overall cash cost profile with the addition of material by-product credits,” he said.
The Vancouver-based miner has earmarked growth capital of $394 million to $437-million for 2023. This includes between $240 million and $260-million allocated to moving the Skouries project forward.