Romanian government classifies Rosia Montana mining area as historical site

By bne IntelliNews January 18, 2016

Rosia Montana village, where Canada-based Gabriel Resources plans to develop a large-sized gold mine, has been listed by the government as a Class A historical site, culture minister Vlad Alexandrescu announced in a Facebook post. The protected area has a radius of around 2km. The document has not yet been published in the Official Journal, he added.

Alexandrescu did not comment on the impact of the decision on the gold mining project. By law, industrial activities within such areas is forbidden. Thus, the mining project would have to be stopped.

Earlier this year, Mediafax reported that Alexandrescu had notified the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) about irregularities related to the situation of historical monuments, including Rosia Montana.

Rosia Montana gold mining project is being developed by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), which is 80% controlled by Canada-based Gabriel Resources (with 20% belonging to the Romanian state).  

Gabriel Resources has been trying for the past 15 years to go ahead with plans to develop Rosia Montana, which it says could become the largest gold mine in Europe. However, the project has been the victim of conflicts between rival political factions as well as fierce opposition from environmentalists.

The company’s latest statement, in early 2015, says it remains committed to developing Rosia Montana. It was visibly aimed at re-opening discussions with the Romanian authorities, which have not yet clarified their position regarding the project.

Under an October 2013 agreement with the Romanian government, Gabriel Resources agreed to pay higher royalties (6% versus 4% previously) and increase state participation in the project to 25%, in return for the government’s promise to issue operating permits under a specified schedule. However, parliament rejected the bill in June 2014.

Related Articles

Romanian president rejects justice minister’s request to dismiss head of anti-corruption body

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis said on April 16 he is rejecting a request from the justice minister to dismiss the head of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi. ... more

ArcelorMittal proposes to divest assets in Czech Republic, Macedonia and Romania

International steel and mining company ArcelorMittal said on April 13 it has proposed a divestment package to the European Commission in a bid to obtain approval for its planned acquisition of ... more

Romania’s Restart Energy raised €30mn via ICO

Romanian electricity and gas supplier Restart Energy raised €30mn in cryptocurrencies by issuing 400mn MWAT tokens in an Initial Cryptocurrency Issue (OCO) aimed at financing a blockchain-based ... more