Not long ago, this was once part of a mine. Today, it’s a vibrant ecosystem.
Eldorado Gold is undertaking one of the largest reclamation projects in Greece at the company’s Olympias site in the Halkidiki Peninsula.
Mining activities by the previous project owners left behind more than 2.4 million tonnes of tailings. Eldorado has been rehabilitating 26.5 hectares of land, an area almost three times the size of Parliament Hill. Eldorado has removed the old tailings and reprocessed them and restored the soil so that it can support vegetation. The aim is to eventually return the Olympias valley to a green area.
At the company’s 15-hectare nursery, Greek Nurseries, more than 500,000 plants from 250 different plant species are grown. To make it easier for the new plants to adapt to the local soil and climate conditions, nursery staff grow trees and shrubs using locally-collected material such as roots, stems, leaf clippings and seeds. Plants are watered using excess water from Eldorado’s mines. The nursery has grown from serving the mining company to other businesses in the area. Today, there are approximately 10 full-time employees and seasonal workers are hired as needed.
Eldorado Gold has invested over US$1 billion towards the sustainable development of its Kassandra Mines (Olympias, Stratoni and Skouries). The company has worked to reclaim previously polluted areas while designing and constructing its operations to safely manage tailings and minimize its environmental footprint.
For Canada’s mining companies, reclaiming the land we borrow is a responsibility we take as seriously as creating jobs and building vibrant communities.