Romania rejects Europe’s largest gold mine

Continued protests have seen Romania’s Government give way to the people and reject the massive proposed Rosia Montana gold mine.

Last month saw thousands of people flood the streets of Romania’s capital, Bucharest, in protest against Canadian mining firm Gabriel Resources’ proposed mine.

It came on the back of claims that the mine would need around 12 000 tonnes of cyanide for processing (which according to is more than 12 times than what is currently used in all of the European Union) and that the project would necessitate the removal off our mountain tops.

Added to this is the historical issue of cyanide incidents in Romania with the Baia Mare cyanide spill in 2000 still fresh in protestors’ minds, when gold miner Aurul (a joint venture operation between Australian company Esmeralda Exploration and the Romanian Government) spilled around 100 000 cubic metres of water, containing approximately 100 tonnes of cyanide, into the nearby Somes river after a tailings dam wall failure.

The final vote on the potential mine went to parliament, where the commission tasked with revising the viability of the project rejected it, according to Romania Insider.

However it is unlikely that the mine’s future is sealed, as the Romanian Parliament drafts a new law which could potentially see the state take a larger stake in the operations of the Rosia Montana mine.

Currently Gabriel Resources owns 80.7% of shares in the mine, with the government holdings eventually increasing from just under 20% to 25% if all permits are approved.

The deposit is believed to be one of the most prospective in Europe, with more than 300 tonnes of gold resources.

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