Hellas Gold: Pioneer in “green” development and environmental protection

Through its social and environmental action, the mining company has actively supported the local community of Northeastern Halkidiki and especially the Municipality of Aristotle

Hellas Gold is one of the largest mining companies in Greece, which produces concentrates of gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper from the Kassandra Mines and at the same time is considered a pioneer in the sector in terms of actions for the protection of the natural environment, sustainable development and the confrontation of climate change.

Since 2004, the company develops and operates the Kassandra Mines in Northeastern Halkidiki, managing through its responsible and award-winning mining activity to offer multiple benefits to the local community. The company has invested more than 1 billion dollars for the modernization and maximum efficient functionality of the mines, always in full compliance with the strict legal framework of environmental management and safety.

Since 2012 it operates as a subsidiary of the Canadian Eldorado Gold, a mining company listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges, based in Vancouver and more than 25 years of experience in the research, development and operation of mines around the world (Canada, Greece, Turkey, Brazil, Serbia and Romania).

Today Hellas Gold employs more than 1,000 direct and 600 indirect workers, contributing to the increase of employment locally with jobs in different sectors.

The invaluable contribution to the Greek economy and society

To date, the company with its activity, has provided the Greek state with revenues of 394 million euros it actively supports the Greek economy, having implemented expenditures amounting to 1 billion from domestic supplies.Its action, however, does not stop there, the company supports more than anyone else the local community of NE Chalkidiki, with its social investments and projects in the Municipality of Aristotle exceeding 24 million euros.In fact, the company is by far the top employer in the region, as 84% of its employees come from the Municipality of Aristotle. At the same time, its absolute priority is to protect the environment, which is why it has taken care to remove some 3 million tonnes of mining residues from previous mining activity.

Its excellent environmental action

Sustainability is a key pillar of the company’s business strategy, as shown by the Sustainability Integrated Management System (SIMS) that it has put in place in all aspects of its activities. SIMS, through a set of standards, guides the overall operation of the company towards the achievement of the individual sustainable development goals. The result of SIMS is the compliance of all business processes with standards that incorporate the best industry practices internationally.

As shown by the Sustainable Development Report 2019-2020, the company several times proceeded to actions of the utmost importance, which demonstrated both its social and environmental sensitivity, making it an example to be emulated for the rest of the business world in Greece. As noted in the report, Hellas Gold allocated 6% of its net profits to social investments. This is one of the highest rates of social investment allocation in the wider industrial sector. Specifically, the company stood by the residents of NE Chalkidiki during the severe bad weather of 2020, which caused significant damages in the area. For example, it allocated more than 300,000 euros for the rehabilitation of the Olympiada-Varvara road axis.

It also offered 50,000 euros to cover the manning costs of the Community Clinics in Stratoni and Olympiada. Hellas Gold attaches particular importance to education, which is why it undertook the renovation and upgrading of 7 school facilities in the area. It showed significant care for the health of the students, as it took care of the installation of a water filtration system in all the schools of the Municipality of Aristotle. Moreover, it implemented for the 4th year the innovative robotics program in collaboration with Eduact, an investment of 90,000 euros that cultivates in students important skills and knowledge for the future.

In 2021, a year when the climate crisis showed its worst face, Hellas Gold responded by maximizing its “greenaction. In particular, it has allocated 1.3 million euros in social and environmental investments in the local communities of the municipality of Aristotle. The mining company managed to complete another part of the large environmental restoration project of the area from the long-term previous mining activity. This project has been undertaken since the beginning of its activity in the area, while it is the largest corresponding environmental restoration program ever carried out in Greece. It is indicative that since its inception, more than 120 million euros has already been invested. In this context, it delivered to the local community a new natural area of 30 acres that for decades was a repository of arsenopyrites with an impact on the local environment.

It also donated a used garbage truck to the Municipality of Aristotle, covering part of the expenses for logistics equipment for the cleaning services of the municipality, while finally it took care of the safe collection of stray animals with the donation of a suitable vehicle, worth more than 45,000 euros.At the same time, it proceeded for yet another year, in collaboration with the New Aeroclub of Thessaloniki, to the aerial surveillance of the forests of the area throughout the fire season, while it stood next to the fire-stricken areas of Attica, covering the cost of replacing the damaged tires, the vehicles that attempted in the deadly fires of last summer.

Innovative environmental programmes

Staying true to its commitments for “green” development, the company implements a series of programs for the protection of the environment. In particular, the Award-winning Environmental Monitoring Program is one of the most comprehensive online and publicly accessible programs in Europe.The program monitors and records data on air, soil and water quality, acoustic environment and noise, etc., at more than 400 control points, posting the results on a dedicated platform accessible to all.

It also implements the parallel restoration program, an extensive program for the restoration of areas from mining uses of previous owners of the mine. In addition, with the use of best environmental management practices, such as dry deposition technology, which offers significant environmental advantages, such as reducing the environmental footprint, saving water and increasing safety, there is a significant reduction in its overall environmental footprint.

The vision for the future

Hellas Gold plans to invest an additional 1.9 billion dollars for the modernization of the Mines of Kassandra. In the full development of the investment, 70 million euros will be allocated to social care and local development projects, always in cooperation with the local community for the well-being of the country.Also in the company’s plans is the creation of another 3,000 jobs during the development course, while according to estimates 1,000 new positions will be added in the first year of construction works in Skouries.

Hellas Gold’s contribution to the Greek economy will once again be of key importance, as it is estimated that the revenues it will provide to the Greek State will reach 2 billion euros. Moreover, the revenues from mining fees for the state and from the procurement of domestic goods and services are expected to exceed 191 million euros and 3.5 billion euros respectively.

More information about Hellas Gold’s activities can be found in the Corporate Responsibility Report 2019-2020.

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