01/09/2012 4502 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: alburnusmaior@ngo.ro


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