January 19, 2015 – Mining Watch Romania exposed once again the illegalities committed by Romanian authorities in favor of Canadian mining companies. The National Construction Authority (NAC) found that the building permit for construction works at the Certej cyanide based mining site was issued with the violation of legal provisions. The statement comes after an unprecedented pressure exerted by citizens who demanded an investigation on the legality of the permit and the punishment of those found accountable.
The inefficiency and illegal bias of the Romanian authorities in relation to the Certej case condemn several local communities to underdevelopment and mono-industrialization. Consequences are disastrous on the long term, as the lives of over 1.9 million people depend on the water, air and soil resources of the Mures basin. Opposition to cyanide based open pits continues to grow among the Romanian public opinion, as Eldorado’s ‘low risk’ projects are seen as an obvious risk of mining accidents, pollution and goldbricking the environmental cleanup.
At first, the National Construction Authority (NAC) showed little interest in investigating the legality of the permits, replying to Mining Watch Romania, that the filed complaint was ‘redirected for a competent solution to the Certeju de Sus City Hall’. In other words, the institution responsible for the verification of the respective authorization, declined jurisdiction in favor of the same institution that issued the illegal act.
Mobilization continued to grow, dozens of people contacting NAC for clarification. At the same time, more than 11,000 people signed a petition asking the newly elected President Klaus Johannis, that the law be enforced in the case of Certej. As a consequence of the public petition and complaints filed, NAC investigated and confirmed the illegality of the construction permit.
In its ‘Third Quarter 2014 Financial and Operating Results’, Eldorado made an announcement to their investors about the steady progress of the Certej mining project. The malice intent to mislead investors can only be explained by severe mismanagement. ‘As the irregularities of Deva Gold in securing the permits are now proven, the Certej project could advance solely by the non-compliance with the rule of law and against tens of thousands of citizens who oppose cyanide-based mining in Romania’, stated Roxana Pencea, member of the Mining Watch Romania network.
For more information please contact Roxana Pencea, mobile +40(0)723-024300, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Certej deposit is owned by Deva Gold S.A., a joint venture between Eldorado Gold (80%) and state-owned Minvest Deva (~20%). The Canadian low-cost gold producer Eldorado Gold (TXS: ELD) tries to operate several open pit mines (Certej, Băița-Crăciunești, Deva) that are facing both local and national opposition. Romanian NGOs assessing the mining project have already identified significant irregularities in the environmental permitting procedure and started a court case this summer to annul the certificate.