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14/10/2013 3224 views
14 October 2013 – The decision to revise the environmental permit no 8 of 5th July 2012 issued by the Regional Environmental Protection Agency in Timisoara for the cyanide-based gold mine proposal at Certej is unmotivated and lacks legal grounds. 4 NGOs actively involved in monitoring and campaigning against illegal large scale mining proposals – the Independent Center for the Development of Environmental Resources, the Save Bucharest Association, the Butterfly Effect Association and the Green Transylvania Association – alongside numerous citizens from the area directly affected by the Certej gold mine proposal today submitted a contestation at the Hunedoara Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the announced decision to revise the environmental permit for the Certej mine.
The revisal decided by the Hunedoara EPA only comes to confirm that the initial environmental permit no 8 of 5th July 2012 has been illegally issued. The documentation currently requested by EPA from the project owner in order to revise the environmental permit should have been at the base of the initial environmental permit. What is more, the initial environmental permit is currently challenged in court by the Ministry for the Environment, a case pending at the Bucharest Tribunal and in which the Independent Center for the Development of Environmental Resources and the Save Bucharest Association intervened as parties.
Environmental permits maybe revised in case projects already approved go through significant modifications. However, the revisal under discussion is not occasioned by such modifications, but is a process that aims at supplying gaps in the initial documentation submitted by the project owner. As such, the aim is to cover and write out a defective documentation that should have been rejected by the competent authority and not accepted for the issuing of the environmental permit.
The revisal was decided based on the fact that the Certej gold mine proposal partially covers the surface of a NATURA 2000 site – ROSPA 0132 Muntii Metaliferi. However, this reality was known ever since the initial environmental permit was issued, as the environmental permit itself mentions „The mining project’s footprint covers 108,7 hectares of the NATURA 2000 site ROSPA 0132 Muntii Metaliferi, on the Măcrișului River valley. This surface represents almost 0,4% from the entire surface of the site, which totals 26 671 hectares. The NATURA 2000 site ROSPA 0132 Muntii Metaliferi has been designated in 2011”.
The obligation to undertake an appropriate assessment of the project’s implications for the site is stipulated by the Emergency Ordinance no 57 of 20 June 2007 on the regime of protected natural areas, the preservation of natural habitats, wild flora and fauna, Article 28 according to which „Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site’s conservation objectives”. The Certej project owner has not fulfilled the obligation to undertake such assessment before obtaining the environmental permit no 8 of 5th July 2012.
„What strikes us again is the obvious attitude from the part of state authorities to foster the interests of mining companies. These authorities function as licensing offices for mining projects, fabricating all kinds of solutions to legalize illegal mining projects. A quarter of the Certej gold mine proposal surface covers a NATURA 2000 site and this project received the environmental permit although no where is assessed the impact of blasting and cyanide on this site of Community interest”, declared Ştefania Simion, legal coordinator for Mining Watch Romania.
For more details please contact: Ştefania Simion, +40741137266 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
02/10/2013 3575 views
October 2, 2013 – In July 2012, The Regional Environment Protection Agency in Timișoara released the environmental permit for the cyanide mining project in Certej, Hunedoara. Its details – devastating impact on the environment, legal faults, network of shareholders and owning companies – make the Certej project alike the one proposed for Roșia Montană, drawing heavy criticism from Romanian environmental protection organizations.
The Ministry of Environment reacted with a two month delay, and only following requests from the civil society. Shortly after, the environment minister Rovana Plumb, declared that ”the environment permit for Certej was released without respecting the legal procedures. We are talking about an illegal and irresponsible agreement”. The National Environment Protection Agency, subordinate to the Ministry of Environment, submitted a request for the anullment or the environmental agreement for the Certej mining proiect, at the Bucharest Court of Appeal. The Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources intervened as a party in this case.
At the first hearing, the Bucharest Court of Appeal declined having the competence to rule on the case, and sent it to the Bucharest Tribunal. At the next hearing, scheduled for the 1st of October 2013, thus, approximately one year after the first hearing, the National Environment Protection Agency asked for another re-schedule, to better prepare itself for the subject. The plaintiff’s low interest for the case and poor preparation for supporting the arguments in the brief can be clearly seen.
At the same time, the defender chosen by Deva Gold SA in the current trial is the Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen law firm. The delegated barrister is Mrs. Ana Diculescu-Șova, mother of the Minister Delegate for infrastructure projects of national interest and foreign investments, Mr. Dan Șova. The latter, as a member of Government, worked on the ”National plan for Strategic Investiment and Job Creation”, which was presented to the public in July of this year. The mining project proposed by Deva Gold SA at Certej is among the projects presented in this plan.
Following environment minister Rovana Plumb’s plea for cyanide mining in Roșia Montană, the ministry’s participation in this trial seems to be a simple act of feigning interest. It is as if the Environment Ministry would have Deva Gold spill 26.488 tons of cyanide directly into the Mureș River and then taking the estimated profits directly from the accounts of the Romanian National Bank. This might indeed be the cheaper option for Romania, as it might also be cheaper to pay the Șova clan the amounts that will result from their participation in the judicial representation for the mining companies, on the one hand, and the government lobby on the other” said Tudor Brădățan, member of Mining Watch Romania.
For additional information: Tudor Brădățan, Phone: +40745370524, email@example.com
13/09/2013 3523 views
01/09/2012 4361 views
Roşia Montană, September 1st, 2012 – The Independent Centre for Development of Environmental Resources, Alburnus Maior, and Re.Generation associations are condemning the recent issue of the environmental permit for what is to be the first large-scale cyanide based gold mining exploitation in Romania.
The proposed mining project by the Canadian companyEldorado Gold Corporation through the Deva Gold Company at Certej, Hunedoara County, has received the environmental permit from the Regional Environmental Protection Agency of Timisoara, creating an extremely dangerous precedent for Romania.
Through its details – the devastating impact on the environment, the legal flaws, the network of shareholders, i.e. the holding companies, the project operating in Certej is similar to the one proposed in Roşia Montană, attracting over time serious criticism by the environmental protection organizations in Romania.
The project, which covers an area of 456 hectares, involves processing 45 million tons of ore – with a concentration of 1.8 grams of gold per tons of ore – and the use of a sodium cyanide quantity of 1653 tons per year for a period of 16 years, during the operation of the mine. As with the Roşia Montană project, the after processing residues, including the cyanide and heavy metals ones, will be stored in an outdoor tailing pondwith a total area of 63 hectares.
The main investor, Eldorado Gold Corporation is a Canadian mining company listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange that operates also in Greece, Turkey, China and Brazil. The mining company took over European Goldfields in December 2011, which owned 80% of Deva Gold SA Company, the remaining 20% of the shares being held by state-owned company Minvest Deva. At their inception, both Roşia Montană Gold Corporation and Deva Gold businesses were funded by Vasile Frank Timis, the founder and former president of Gabriel Resources, the company that owns the majority of Roşia Montană Gold Corporation.
The issue of the environmental permit for the Certej mining project on July 5th, 2012 by the Regional Environmental Protection Agency of Timisoara creates a very dangerous precedent for Romania.
What the previous governments had only discussed about, the Ponta Government achieved in just two months from being appointed. Although the Prime Minister Victor Ponta and the Minister of Environment and Forests Rovana Plumb argued strongly at the start of their warrant that Roşia Montană mining project cannot go forward without environmental safeguards, the renegotiation of state participation or contract declassification, thus mimicking interest and responsibility towards the serious implications that such mining projects poses to the environment and affected communities, the Government has not requested any environmental guarantee prior approving the Certej project. The participation of the Romanian State, similar to the one at Roşia Montană, is accepted in its present form and the contract underlying this project is still a secret one.
Moreover, in issuing of the environmental permit for the Certej project, the authorities found as acceptable the impacts of 29 million cubic meters of water consumption from the Mureş River, the deforestation of 187 hectares of forest and overlapping of the mining project with the Natura 2000 – 0132 ROSPA Ore Mountains site over an area of 108 hectares.
“We ask the USL party and the Romanian Government to publicly assume this decision – the issuing of environmental permit for a mining project based on cyanide technologies, and explain to all Romanians its environmental, economic and social benefits.” declared Eugen David, president of Alburnus Maior.
“The environmental impact assessment for the Certej project caused us serious concerns even from its early stages, presenting numerous legal flaws. The lack of studies and impact assessments on biodiversity under the Habitats Directive and the Birds Directive, or the lack of any assessment regarding the archaeological potential of the area, and the health of the population concerning hazardous substances, allow us to address the European Commission to asses compliance with the mentioned Community Law, and also to ask the competent national court the cancellation of the issued environmental permit.” said Tudor Brădăţan, from the Independent Centre for Development of Environmental Resources.
Detailed and general information about the Certej mining project can be found in the CERTEJ GOLD-SILVER ORE MINING PROJECT fact sheet.
For more details contact: Ştefania Simion, mobile: 0741.137.266, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org