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Olympias is a pre-existing gold-silver-lead-zinc mine located in the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece.

It has very high gold-grades and an orebody that will allow for mining rates up to 1 million tonnes per annum. Olympias is being re-developed in three phases.

Key Facts

Location Halkidiki Peninsula, Greece
Mine type Underground
Metals mined Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc
Employees/contractors 628
Expected mine life 25+ years*
Deposit type Polymetallic carbonate replacement
Ownership 95%
Resources & Reserves

* Based on current proven and probable reserves.

2017 Outlook

Commissioning of the processing plant at Olympias is progressing and commercial production expected by the end of 2017. Annual gold production is estimated to be 20,000-30,000 ounces.

In September 2017, Olympias received all of the outstanding permits required to construct the paste backfill plant, which will provide additional tailings filtration capacity and help resolve the tailings filtration bottleneck that is limiting capacity to approximately 60% of design throughput. This bottleneck is expected to be resolved by the end of the second quarter of 2018 when the paste backfill plant becomes operational.

Capital spending for 2017 of $85.0 million includes completion of the Phase II plant, general sustaining capital expenditures, and capital associated with advancement to Phase III including the continued construction of the Kokkinolakas tailings facility along with underground development and water management.

Operating Data

2017E 2016A 2015A
Gold produced (oz)* 20,000-30,000** 2,774* 16,396
Ore mined/processed (t) 87,350 589,675
Gold grade (g/t) 2.47 1.99
Cash operating costs ($/oz) 250-450***

* Production is from tailings retreatment that concluded at the end of Q1 2016.
** Includes pre-commercial production of ~10,000 ounces
*** Range due to variability of by-product credits; commercial ounces only.

Development Approach

Eldorado is developing Olympias in three phases. Commercial production from Phase 2 is targeted by the end of 2017.

Phase 1 (2013-2016)

Phase I is an environmental clean-up of previously mined tailings and includes the refurbishment of the processing plant and underground mine. Tailings retreatment commenced in 2012, produced approximately 20,000 ounces of gold per year, and is now complete. Environmental reclamation of the Olympias tailings management facility is ongoing. 5.8km of underground has been refurbished to date plus 8km of new development.

Phase 2 (2017-2022)

Phase II involves processing ore from the underground through the refurbished mill using a flotation process to produce three concentrates: lead-silver, zinc, and gold bearing pyrite-arsenopyrite. Phase 2 production is estimated to be approximately 72,000 ounces of gold per year plus approximately 55,000 ounces of gold equivalent. Capital costs associated with the final stages of Phase 2 construction are budgeted at $101 million.

Phase 3 (~2022-2025)

Phase III involves a production ramp-up to an estimated 170,000 ounces of gold per year plus approximately 130,000 ounces of gold equivalent. Designs are currently under development with engineering ongoing for a new mill site in the adjacent Stratoni Valley.

Please see our presentation Olympias Project for more information.

Indicative Operating Data - Phase 2

2017 2018-2022
Tonnes milled 265,000 Mt 400,000-435,000 Mt
Au grade 10.6 9.4-10.5 g/t
Au recovery to concentrate 90% 90%
Au payability ~58% ~58%
Au payable production 50,000 oz 68,000-76,000 oz
Ag payable production 610 koz 985-1,450 koz
Pb payable production 6,200 t 11,000-16,000 t
Zn payable production 8,700 t 14,000-16,000 t
C1 – Operating cash cost* $310/oz $190-330/oz
C2 – Total cash cost $345/oz $230-370/oz
Sustaining cash cost** $830/oz $410-660/oz

*Net of by-products
**C2 + sustaining capital

Geology and Mineralization

Olympias is a gold-rich polymetallic carbonate replacement deposit hosted in an interlayered sequence of feldspar-biotite gneiss and marble within the Paleozoic Kerdylia Formation of the Serbo-Macedonian Massif, NE Greece. It contains multiple lenses which together extend in a NNE direction for over 1.5 km, plunge 30 to 35° SW, and have an average thickness of 12 m. Two main end-member ore types are recognised; a base metal-rich ore type and a high arsenic-silica, high gold ore type. The latter typically occurs in the core of the ore lenses and is dominated by grey arsenian pyrite and arsenopyrite and subordinate galena and sphalerite with quartz-rich gangue. Gold grades are typically >10 to 30 g/t. The base metal-rich ore is characterized by variable pyrite, galena and sphalerite with lesser arsenian pyrite and arsenopyrite, and calcite-rich gangue. Gold grades are commonly in the range of 2 to 10 g/t. Both ore types locally contain spectacular bladed to dendritic arsenian pyrite and arsenopyrite with massive base metal sulphides. The Olympias deposit likely formed during the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene coincident with magmatism in the region.


Little systematic exploration has been conducted at Olympias outside of the confines of the known ore body, and consequently nearby areas have outstanding exploration potential. The deposit is open downplunge, and numerous brownfields targets exist that have had little or no drill testing. Ongoing rehabilitation of existing workings and underground development into new areas will provide access to test these exploration targets.


2016 Installation permit to begin Phase II granted in March
2013 7% increase in Olympias gold resources year on year from 4.3 Moz to 4.6 Moz
2012 Eldorado acquires Olympias via the acquisition of European Goldfields; Tailings retreatment commenced
2011 EIA received for the Kassandra Mines (includes Olympias, Skouries and Stratoni)
2004 Hellas Gold, a subsidiary of European Goldfields, acquired Olympias from the Greek state
1999 Feasibility study completed by TVX
1995 Ownership transferred to TVX Gold Incorporated from Greek state