Last autumn section editor Peter Braul
and communications coordinator Zoë
Koulouris packed a camera and a voice
recorder, as well as some sunscreen, and flew
off to Thessaloniki, Greece. The final destination
was Eldorado Gold’s Kassandra mines on
the Halkidiki Peninsula. The sites, operated
by Eldorado subsidiary Hellas Gold, are a constellation
of brownfield and greenfield properties,
some of which have, off and on, been
producing metals for thousands of years.
Before Eldorado can turn these properties
into profitable operations, the company has
plenty of work to do: an eight-kilometre tunnel
that connects two of the mines and allows for
the transport of ore must be completed; tailings from past production will
have to be cleaned up; old underground workings need to be expanded; an
open-pit mine – a first for the country – must be developed and a processing
plant that integrates the feed from three different mines built. Peter details
the work in our project profile, “The Kassandra complex,” a title
derived from the Greek myth of Cassandra, who was given the power of
prophecy, but whose warnings about the future were not believed.
The projects, which currently employ more than 2,000 people, might
seem like a great boost for Greece, which is way over its head in an economic
mess, but politics have jeopardized the future of the mines.
Supporters will argue that the project, where two of the mines have at least
25 years of life, have a role to play in saving the country from its current
distress. Shut it down and foreign investors will take their badly needed
dollars elsewhere. Opponents contend the environmental costs will be too
high and have the recently elected government as an ally. And so we wait
to see whose warnings will be heeded and whose will be dismissed.
Spring is always a rush at CIM National as preparation for the annual
CIM Convention reaches its peak. This year we added the publication of a
new book, Metallurgical Plant Design, to the long list of projects and deadlines.
This volume, as co-editor Chris Twigge-Molecey explains,
bridges the informational gap between engineering and project execution.
The 12-chapter book is the product of countless hours of work from volunteers
and CIM staffers and a testament to their enormous commitment
to their professional calling. Copies are available at the conference and
online at cim.org.
CIM’s media offerings have also expanded to video. Visitors to CIM
Magazine online can now find presentations from a number of industry
experts who are challenging miners to weigh the risk of innovation against
the growing risk of complacency. The videos capture the proceedings at
McEwen Mining’s quarterly innovation lunches hosted at the company’s
Toronto offices. The presentations, complete with slides, are graciously
provided by McEwen Mining and are an excellent complement to whatever
is on your lunch menu.
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