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Skouries is a high-grade gold-copper porphyry deposit located in the Halkidiki Peninsula in northern Greece.

It will operate as an open pit and underground mine for about nine years, followed by approximately 15 years of underground mining.

Key Facts

Location Halkidiki Peninsula, Greece
Mine type Open pit and underground
Metals mined Gold, Copper
Employees/contractors 235
Expected mine life 25 years*
Deposit type Gold-copper porphyry
Ownership 95%
Resources & Reserves

* Based on current proven and probable reserves.

2018 Outlook

Eldorado announced its intention to begin moving its Skouries project into care and maintenance on 9 November, 2017. Ongoing permitting delays have negatively impacted Eldorado’s project schedules and costs, ultimately hindering the Company’s ability to effectively advance development at Skouries.

Development capital expenditure at Skouries in 2018 is expected to be $20 million as the project fully transitions into care and maintenance (expected in Q1 2018). Ongoing care and maintenance costs are estimated to be $3-5 million per year once fully ramped down.

Development Approach

Eldorado plans to develop Skouries in a two-phased approach. Dates detailed below are subject to receiving the necessary permits.

Phase 1 (2020-2027)

Phase 1 is a combination of open pit and underground mining over 9 years, producing a total of 1.4 million ounces of gold and 620 million pounds of copper at average cash operating costs of -$255 per ounce of gold due to copper by-product credits. Development capital over the Phase 1 is budgeted at $710 million and includes all mine development and process facilities.

Phase 2 (2028-2042)

Phase 2 involves underground mining for a 15 year period once Phase 1 is complete. Total production during this phase is expected to be 1.7 million ounces of gold and 850 million pounds of copper at average cash operating costs of $165 per ounce of gold due to copper by-product credits. Development capital during Phase 2 is budgeted at approximately $460 million.

Benefits of this updated development plan include:

  • An increased feed to the plant, allowing it to run at full capacity (8 Mtpa) for a 14 year period, starting in 2020.
  • Higher grades from the underground earlier on in the development.
  • A smaller environmental footprint and decreased sustaining capex over the life of mine due to improved filtered tailings approach. A best-practice technology, filtered tailings decreases the amount of storage needed which potentially eliminates the need for a second storage facility.
  • Improved project economics through optimized mine and tailings plans.

Please see our presentation Skouries Project for more information.

Indicative Operating Data

Phase 1
(9 years)
Phase 2
(15 years)
Life of Mine
(24 years)
Period*** 2020-2027 2028-2042 2020-2042
Tonnes milled 69.5 Mt 91.3 Mt 160.8 Mt
Au grade 0.80 g/t 0.71 g/t 0.75 g/t
Cu grade 0.49% 0.50% 0.49%
AuEq grade 1.53 g/t 1.46 g/t 1.49 g/t
Gold produced 1.4 Moz 1.7 Moz 3.1 Moz
Copper produced 620 Mlbs 850 Mlbs 1,470 Mlbs
Gold equivalent produced 2.8 Moz 3.6 Moz 6.4 Moz
C1 – Operating cash cost* ($225/oz) $165/oz ($30/oz)
C2 – Total cash cost ($225/oz) $195/oz $0/oz
Sustaining cash cost** ($105/oz) $365/oz $150/oz

*Net of by-products
**C2 + sustaining capital
***Dates subject to receiving the necessary permits.

Geology and Mineralization

The Skouries porphyry gold-copper deposit is centred on a small (less than 400m in diameter), pencil-porphyry stock that intruded schist and gneiss of the Paleozoic Vertiskos Formation of the Serbo-Macedonian Massif, NE Greece. Mineralization extends for more than 920m depth from surface. The porphyry is characterized by at least four intrusive phases that are of probable monzonite to syenite composition,but contain an intense potassic alteration and related stockwork veining that overprints the original protolith. Potassic alteration and copper mineralization also extend into the country rock; approximately two thirds of the measured and indicated tonnes and 40% of the contained metal are hosted outside the porphyry. The potassic alteration is syn- to late-magmatic in timing, and is characterized by K-feldspar overgrowths on plagioclase, secondary biotite replacement of igneous hornblende and biotite, and a fine-grained groundmass of K-feldspar-quartz with disseminated magnetite. Four main stages of veining are recognised: 1) an early stage of intense quartz-magnetite stockwork; 2) quartz-magnetite veinlets with chalcopyrite ± bornite; 3) quartz-biotite-chalcopyrite ± bornite-apatite-magnetite veinlets; and 4) a localized, late stage set of pyrite ± chalcopyrite-calcite-quartz veins. The host porphyry and potassic alteration at Skouries were coeval and formed during the Early Miocene.


Exploration at Skouries is focused on identifying and testing porphyry targets within the project area, including the Tsikara and Fisoka prospects. Ongoing targeting activities include geological mapping, systematic soil sampling and geophysical surveying.


2017 Skouries began ramp down into care and maintenance in November due to ongoing permit delays.
2016 Development was suspended between Jan-May as a result of delayed permits and licences. Development recommenced in Jun post receipt of the updated Technical Study
2013 Construction of the Skouries Mine commenced
2012 Eldorado acquired Skouries via the acquisition of European Goldfields
2011 EIA received for the Kassandra Mines (includes Olympias, Skouries and Stratoni)
2006 Feasibility study prepared by European Goldfields
2004 European Goldfields acquired Skouries
1996-7 Ownership transferred to TVX