PM Ponta hints at approval of Rosia Montana and Certej gold mining projects

Newsroom 11/07/2013 | 15:34

The unblock of the gold and silver mining projects at Rosia Montana and Certej are part of the government’s plan to attract EUR 10 billion worth of strategic investments and create 50,000 new jobs, which was unveiled on Thursday.

The national plan states that the exploitation of gold and silver at the Certej concession has to meet new environmental standards. Eldorado Gold holds an 80 percent stake in the project through Deva Gold.

In the case of the Rosia Montana project, the government states the exploitation has to meet new environmental standards protect the cultural heritage and increase the benefit of the Romanian state to 78 percent of what the project generates.

“For Deva Gold and Rosia Montana we want to advance in unblocking these projects, which have to fully comply with the environmental standards, with the Parliament having to decide next regarding the unblock of the projects and the final decision belongs to you,” Ponta told his ministers.

The announcement of PM Ponta came less than two months after the government has spinned-off Minvest Deva, which holds a 19.3 percent stake in Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), the miner. Gabriel Resources, which owns an 80.7 percent stake in the miner, is waiting for the final environmental permit from authorities.

The government laid plans to attract investments in five strategic sectors: energy, mineral resources, agriculture, industry and infrastructure.

The exploration of shale gas by Chevron and offshore explorations by OMV Petrom, ExxonMobil and Romgaz were mentioned as the projects that could help Romania become energy independent.

The government’s national plan states that around EUR 1.3 billion worth of investments are estimated to be carried out in industrial parks. The document adds that EUR 166 million in state aid has been approved for companies that invested locally. The value of total approved investments stands at EUR 429 million.

PM Ponta said that around 100,000 new jobs have been created in the past year, adding that the local economy grew by 2.2 percent in the first quarter.

Ovidiu Posirca

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