Romanian government needs environmental guarantees for Rosia Montana mining, says minister

Newsroom 20/12/2012 | 12:08

Environment minister Rovana Plumb stated on Thursday that the Rosia Montana gold mining project holds an important role for the government, which should decide on the faith of this investment once the guarantees regarding environmental responsibility are finalized.

Authorities in Alba County recently held a referendum for the resumption of mining in the Apuseni Region, which was invalidated due to insufficient turnout. However, in the Rosia Montana locality the turnout stood at 66.06 percent and close to 80 percent voted for the mining solution.

“The Rosia Montana project is one of the important files for which the government has to make a decision. I can tell that once his decision is made, it is imperative to be based on the environment legislation and the European environment norms regarding this activity,” said Plumb in a broadcasted appearance, quoted by Agerpres.

Romania transposed the European legislation of environmental responsibility since 2008, but the procedure for establishing the environmental guarantees hasn’t been concluded, according to Plumb.

She added there is work in progress in this section and the final decision belongs to the government, as it involves several ministries.

“The government’s decision needs to be grounded. The issue of jobs is a priority for the Ponta government and I can ensure that everything it involves, from the point of view of the Ministry of Environment, has to respect the environment conditions,” said the minister.

Plumb acknowledged the open-pit gold and silver project at Rosia Montana is a “very large exploitation”.

RMGC (Rosia Montana Gold Corporation) is the developer of the mining project at Rosia Montana. The company was set up in 1997 and has two shareholders. Canada-based Gabriel Resources owns an 80.7 percent stake and state-owned miner CNCAF Minvest has 19.3 percent of the shares.

Romania has the chance of becoming the largest gold producer in Europe, if the Rosia Montana project kicks off. RMGC estimated it can mine around 300 tons of gold an 1,400 tons of silver in Rosia Montana.

Ovidiu Posirca

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