Environmental liabilities for Rosia Montana mining project not established yet
Thursday, January 3, 2013
The Rosia Montana gold mining project is one of the important files on which the Government has to take a decision, but the procedure on the establishment of environmental liabilities was not completed yet, Environment Minister Rovana Plumb told a private TV channel on last Thursday.
'The Rosia Montana gold mining project is one of the important files on which the Government has to take a decision. The decision must be consistent with the environmental legislation and the EU norms as regards the activity in this domain (...), I must inform you that the European legislation transposed in the national legislation stipulates liabilities for maintenance and remedying measures, and environmental guarantees. Given the fact that this EU legislation has been transposed in the domestic legislation as early as since 2008, we have a Directive on environmental liability, but the procedure on their establishment was not completed yet,' Rovana Plumb said.
Plumb also said that at present 'the procedure is underway, and the decision belongs to the Government, because several ministries are involved in this process, including the Ministry of Waters and Forestry, in the current situation.'
'Jobs are obviously important, but we cannot violate the existing legislative provisions. The natural resources are a national interest, for this reason all citizens have to be fully aware of the facts. Of course, the Government's decision must be substantiated,' Rovana Plumb underscored.
On Dec. 9, 2012, the local authorities in Alba held referendum in 35 territorial-administrative units on mining in the Apuseni Mountains. Although 62.45 percent said they were in favour, the referendum was invalidated due to the low presence at the polling stations of 43.20 percent, according to final data released by the Alba County Election Bureau.
Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), the investor in the Rosia Montana gold mining project, was set up in the central Alba county in 1997 and its shareholders are state mining company Minvest Deva with a 19.31 percent stake and Gabriel Resources with 80.69 percent.
The company plans to develop the most advanced mine in Romania, at Rosia Montana and it intends to dig some 300 tons of gold and 1,400 tons of silver or the equivalent of 20,000 ingots.
Should the gold-mining project get the green light, Romania would become Europe's top gold producer, thus passing the top-two producers Finland and Sweden.