Romania’s Senate rejects Rosia Montana draft mining bill

Newsroom 19/11/2013 | 14:18

The draft bill regulating gold and silver mining in Rosia Montana was rejected on Tuesday with a sweeping majority in the upper house of Parliament, while the report drawn up by the special parliamentary committee on the open pit project was submitted to the general prosecutors office, reports Mediafax newswire.

The MPs vote plays a central role in the decision regarding the project developed Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, the miner controlled by Canada’s Gabriel Resources. The company has failed to secure a final environmental permit to date, as the ministry of environment is waiting for the final vote, which belongs to the Chamber of Deputies.

The bill was voted down by 119, while three MPs supported it and six abstained.

State secretary Gheorghe Hogea said the government supports the position of the special parliamentary committee, which rejected the Rosia Montana bill earlier this month. MPs concluded Romania needs to amend the legal framework before approving it.

Any decision regarding the controversial Rosia Montana project, which has sparked protests across the country in the last two months, has been delayed since 1998, when the Canada-based company secured a mining license.

Ilie Sarbu, head of the left wing party PSD in the Senate, warned that any wrongdoings in the Rosia Montana project would be scrutinized by prosecutors.

“I am not referring to specific persons, I do not know if some is guilty of not, but the prosecutors office, when it receives such an important document from the Romanian Parliament, not from a chamber, I do not think they will have room for games,” commented Sarbu on submitting the special committee’s report to prosecutors.

Ovidiu Posirca

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