Minister announces steps to bolster mining industry

Another six-month delay is to be imposed on the process for the privatization of troubled Larco General Mining & Metallurgical Co SA. The reason for that is the court action by 1,060 employees against the severance pay the state and the special administrator of the company are offering them, and who have already secured an injunction. The case will be heard on May 6, a day after the deadline for offers concerning the twin tenders for Larco's factory and mines. Therefore it is unlikely any investor will submit a binding offer without knowing what will happen with the company's staff. Every year it remains under state ownership, Greece loses 44 million euros.

Deputy Environment and Energy Minister Alexandra Sdoukou revealed four actions that will support the development of the mining industry in Greece, speaking at the Delphi Economic Forum on Thursday. 

They include: Rationalizing regulatory rules by updating the Mining Code that is 50 years old; reducing the waiting time for licensing to a maximum of two years, as set by the European Union through the action for critical raw materials; evaluating the terms and rules in place at regions that fall under the Natura protection plan; and extensive research to identify and utilize raw mineral resources, particularly critical ones. 

"The mining industry cannot develop at the expense of the environment, but a great range of mineral resources are tied up in these areas without prospects of development, especially critical minerals like bauxite," Sdoukou stated.

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