Canada’s Gabriel Resources has announced the temporary suspension of the Archeological Discharge Certificate (ADC) for the Carnic open pit, following a ruling of the Suceava Tribunal.
The company, which is majority owner in Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), said the ruling is not irrevocable and will be appealed, adding that the certificate remains valid while suspended. The action was filed by three NGOs. The next court hearing of the annulment case is scheduled in Buzau for February 10th.
Alburnius Maior, one of the NGOs that challenged the ADC in court, said the suspension is enforced until an appeal is solved. The NGO said the Carnic Massive in Rosia Montana houses the most extended network of Roman mining galleries, which is classified as a historic monument of national interest. In addition, the association says this is where the largest gold deposit in Rosia Montana is located.
Jonathan Henry, president and CEO of Gabriel, said: “”The Project is multi-faceted and pioneering in terms of the permitting process in Romania. The Project has enormous potential benefit for Romania, its people and the community of Rosia Montana.”
“We remain committed to our goal of building one of Europe’s most modern mines in Rosia Montana, developed in full compliance with Romanian and European Union legislation, using the best available practices and sympathetic to the cultural heritage of the area. The Project will provide Romania with much needed economic stimulus and significant job creation,” he added.
Romanian authorities have avoided passing any decision regarding the gold and silver project at Rosia Montana. The government passed last year a bill regulating the open pit project, which was killed in Parliament due to lack of quorum.
MPs hinted that debates on the project would be restarted in commissions, without mentioning a deadline.
RMGC, in which the Romanian state holds a 20 percent stake, seeks to mine around 300 tons of gold 1,600 tons of silver, potentially becoming the largest open pit in Europe. The company has been trying to kick off mining for 15 years and has invested around EUR 500 million in the country.
Shares in Gabriel Resources have fallen 54 percent year-on-year to CAD 1.18 by January 30th on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The company has a market capitalization of CAD 453 million. Its biggest shareholders include American billionaire Thomas S. Kaplan of Electrum Group and American hedge fund manager John Paulson of Paulson & Company.