Local and national opposition against the Eldorado mine proposal in Romania (TSX: ELD)

22/07/2014 4204 views

NGOs signal irregularities in the permitting procedure

Cluj-Napoca/Romania, 22. July 2014 – The Eldorado mine proposal at Băița-Crăciunești1 is facing both local and national opposition. Romanian NGOs assessing the Canadian Eldorado (TSX: ELD) Băița-Crăciunești2 mine proposal have already identified significant irregularities in the incipient environmental permitting procedure.

In May 2014 Eldorado Gold, the Canadian low-cost gold producer, submitted a request3 to obtain the environmental permit for mining the Băița-Crăciunești deposit.4 Usually this step is accompanied by a project presentation report (PPR) which amongst other, the EPA must publish on its website. In early July 2014, the Hunedora EPA issued a decision5 through which the mine proposal will have to go through an environmental impact procedure (EIA Procedure). An EIA procedure is made up of three 3 distinct stages (screening, scoping and assessment). While to date the public has not been given access to the PPR or any details regarding participation opportunities in decision making, worryingly the Hunedora EPA has already composed a Technical Analysis Committee (CAT). Such committee is composed by representatives from the diverse ministries that through their expertise can help the EPA assess the impact and reach a decision and is thus usually called at the last stage of an EIA.

According to the little information available on the website of the Hunedora EPA, the mine proposal’s project footprint spreads over 12 km² on the territories of the Băița and Certej localities. Importantly the mine proposal will take place entirely in a Natura 2000 site.6 Because of their special protection status, any economic activities proposed in Natura 2000 sites have to submit additional permits and documents.

The Băița-Crăciunești deposit is part of the Canadian Eldorado Gold7 Certej proposal. Deva Gold S.A. is a joint venture between Eldorado Gold (80%) and state-owned Minvest Deva (~20%). To minimise impact and permitting risks, the project owner divided the Certej proposal into smaller entities and is applying for each individually. However, while ownership and project financing comprises the Certej deposit as a whole, all individual parts will use one and the same TMF, roads, power sources etc.

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„The cumulative impact of the Certej proposal is gigantic and due to the tactics used by its low-cost owner so are the risks. One by one, four perimeters add up to the one massive Certej deposit. This seems to be a new strategy used by murky mining companies to fool the public when in reality we are confronted with a mega-project, which could hold up to 7 distinct pits. Romanians can’t be fooled! As have already done in the past we will use every legal means to ensure that this proposal will be rejected,” declared Roxana Pencea, from the Mining Watch România network.

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Mining Watch Romania is a network founded in 2013 by activists, journalists and lawyers from the Save Rosia Montana campaign. Its scope is to monitor and assess mine proposals and their relevant permitting procedures, to provide assistance to local communities faced with mine projects and to initiate litigation when and if appropriate.

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For more details please contact Roxana Pencea via mobile *44723-024300 or email contact@miningwatch.ro