Location: Satu Mare and Maramureş
Licence issuance date: exploration license No. 11795, 11796 and 11797/ 03.2009 Project holder 2013: Romaltyn Exploration SRL
Shareholder: subsidiary of Romaltyn Limited held by SAT&Company (51%) and Fribourg Investments (49%).
Data on the deposit: gold and silver
Project permitting stage: –
Cămârzana Nord, Aluniș Piatra Handal and Poprad – general aspects
The companies Romaltyn Mining SRL and Romaltyn Exploration SRL, subsidiaries of Romaltyn Limited (registered in Isle of Man), were part of the portfolio of the largest gold producer in Russia, Polyus Gold, until 2012, when they were acquired by SAT&Company of Kazahstan. (registered in British Virgin Islands).
One year later, in April 2013, the investment fund Fribourg Investments, controlled by the former prime minister of the Republic of Moldova, Ion Sturza and Kenes Rakishev, became one of the shareholders of Romaltyn Limited, who purchased 49% of the company’s equity. Fribourg Investments also took over operational control of the project in Baia Mare.
The first mining area explored is Cămârzana Nord of Cămârzana commune in Satu Mare, in the close vicinity of the border with Ukraine. According to the census in 2011, the population of Cămârzana commune was 2,355 inhabitants. The development strategy of the commune envisages a rural tourism area, the Cămârzana village being “unanimously considered one of the most picturesque settlements in this part of the country”, particularly for the natural reserve Tinoavele in Oaş Mountains.
Aluniş Piatra Handal – eastern and western areas
The next two deposits explored are Aluniş Piatra Handal – east and west of the communes Tăuţii Măgherăuş and Cicârlău in Maramureş.
Tăuţii-Măgherăuş is a town in Maramureş county. The town also includes Băiţa, Bozânta Mare, Buşag, Merişor, Nistru and Ulmoasa villages. According to the census in 2011, the population of Tăuţii-Măgherăuş town was 7,136 inhabitants. The Baia Mare accident in 2000 occurred on the territory of this town, in Bozânta Mare, when the tailings dam broke and cyanide mining waste spilled in Tisa river and further on in the Danube.
Cicârlău is a commune in Maramureş county. According to the census in 2011, the population of Cicârlău commune was 3,691 inhabitants. The place is 15 km distant from Baia Mare city and has an old underground gold mining tradition.
Poprad Hill, Baia Mare
Poprad area is on the hill with the same name in the city of Baia Mare. The toponymy originates from the Slovak mining colonists who settled on the Borcutului Valley coming from the base of Tatra Mountains. The hill is scattered with mine openings of the old underground galleries.
Mining is an industry with an extremely high stake for public policies and financial markets, but particularly for the directly affected communities and ecosystems. While the industry highlights its capacity to generate wealth and the use of modern technologies, the responsibility for the risks, costs and liabilities generated has never been fully assumed. The industry’s domination in the area of public policies prevented a change of the status-quo, and the local communities’ voice remains marginal in the public discourse. The shift of mining companies’ interest from large investment projects to smaller but more numerous projects has a major impact upon local communities, with public attention being thus dissipated in many directions and the permitting procedures being simplified.