Gabriel Resources gold plans suffer setback, as Romanian parliament rejects mining law

 

A parliamentary vote in Romania has rejected revisions to a new mining law that would have allowed Gabriel Resources, a Canadian mining company, to create Europe’s largest open cast gold mine in the Transylvanian village of Rosia Montana.

The amendments to the new law were rejected due to inadequate attendance from the part of the deputies with 160 votes for, 22 abstentions and 105 votes against – the required quorum was not met.

Over a planned 16-year extraction period the controversial project was set to reap 314 tonnes of gold and 1,500 tonnes of silver, flatten four mountain tops, and deposit a huge waste lake containing cyanide, a chemical used in the process of gold leaching.

This rejection is one of many setbacks the mining company has faced in a 14-year saga, trying to obtain appropriate permits to start its metals excavation.

In August this year Prime Minster Victor Ponta passed a bill specifically for the proposed project, which triggered fierce international criticism, with protests over the past three months raging from Bucharest, London, New York, and as far-flung as Shanghai.

The mining company claim that job creation would be positive for Rosia Montana, and that the contribution of revenue from the project would be beneficial for the state.

Several hundred protesters congregated before the vote outside parliament chanting “Save Rosia Montana,” demanding lawmakers to vote against the revisions to the country’s mining law.

Eugen David, a local of Rosia Montana and the president of the project’s main opposition group Alburnus Maior, stated: “For over sixteen years we have been telling Gabriel Resources’ shareholders that their mine is illegal and unwanted. Today’s decision confirms this once more and it also confirms the united determination of the Romanian people.”

The main concern of those opposing the project point to possible environmental damage, often citing a cyanide spill in the northern city of Baia Mare - where a dam cracked in 2000 - which spewed 100,000 cubic metres of water contaminated with cyanide into 2000km of River Danube tributaries, polluting waters in Hungary, Serbia, and the Black Sea.

The Baia Mare disaster is said to be the worst environmental disaster in Europe since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986.

Earlier this week, fifty Greenpeace activists from 10 countries – in protest against the mine - were arrested in Bucharest for taking to the lawn of People’s Palace, the second largest building in the world that hosts the Romanian government, for digging the lawn ‘for gold’ with pick axes.

Gabriel Resources have so far spent more than $500m on the project, and the company is yet to release a statement on this latest setback.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence