Eldorado must stop cutting trees at its Greek mines

Wed Jul 4, 2012 5:15pm EDT

(Reuters) - Greece's top administrative court has ordered Eldorado Gold Corp to stop cutting trees on its mining and exploration properties in Northern Greece, the company said on Wednesday, in news that sent its shares tumbling almost 7 percent.

El Dorado said the order by the Council of State of Greece prevents it from cutting trees in the Halkidiki forest region, where the Vancouver-based company operates the Stratoni silver-lead mine and is developing the Skouries and Olympias gold projects.

Other exploration and operational activities at the projects were not affected by the order, the company said.

A lawsuit filed with the Council of State in May challenged the legality of Eldorado's purchase of the forest land. The plaintiff filed a petition last month to stop the company from cutting trees.

The company said it is working with government ministries to show it has all the permits needed to legally continue cutting trees in Halkidiki. It expects the order to be revoked once it files the required documents with the court.

Eldorado is exploring for precious metals around its Stratoni mine, located some 600 km north of Athens, and is developing the nearby Skouries project, an open pit copper-gold mine.

Shares of Eldorado closed down 6.86 percent at C$12.35 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon; Editing by Janet Guttsman)

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