Court ruling ends Certej gold mine proposal

21/07/2020 1090 views


22 July 2020 – Mining Watch România and Declic are pleased to announce the cessation of the Certej gold/silver mine proposal. The Oradea Court of Appeal rejected an extraordinary appeal initiated by the project owner. This latest decision is final.

“After years of fighting in the courts, we managed to stop a very large mine that would have destroyed the entire Certej area. One by one Romanian courts invalidated the urban plan obtained by Deva Gold. This made it impossible to issue any authorisations for the current cyanide-based mine proposal,” Roxana Pencea, on behalf of Mining Watch România.

The Certej mine proposal is owned by Deva Gold, a joint venture between Eldorado Gold (TSX: ELD / NYSE:EGO) owning 80% and the state-owned company Minvest Deva with a 20% stake.

On 17 July 2020 the Oradea Court of Appeal rejected a request submitted by Deva Gold asking for a review of a final ruling won by Mining Watch România.

In an extraordinary appeal, the project owner, the Local Council of Certeju de Sus and the regional Agency for Environmental Protection had asked the Oradea Court of Appeal to review a final ruling from the Cluj Court of Appeal of 2019 which annulled the urban plan for the Certej mine proposal.

“The court admitted the exception of illegality of the environmental permit and found that the initial permits at the basis for issuing environmental permit (No. 5/2010) were not adjusted, although it was mandatory to go through a new approval procedure because of changes made to the mine proposal (e.g. water management permit). The Cluj Court of Appeal upheld the tribunal’s decision with ruling No. 1194/2019 highlighting that the judge “exercised a fundamental prerogative namely that of administering justice,” Roxana Mândruțiu, lawyer at Revnic, Cristian & Associates.

In April 2020, the Cluj Court of Appeal rejected an appeal submitted by Deva Gold about the annulment of the environmental permit specific for the urban plan. Subsequently, in July 2020, the Oradea Court of Appeal rejected Deva Gold’s extraordinary appeal: a review of a final ruling.

Mining Watch Romania had in parallel also submitted proofs of corruption related to the transfer of forest properties; areas necessary for the construction of tailings ponds to Romania’s criminal investigation body (DNA). Unfortunately, the culprits can no longer be held criminally liable, because the DNA postponed the investigation until the facts expired.

“Civil society has once again fought for the interests of Romanian citizens and protected them so better than the state, which fails to investigate and sanction acts of corruption related to the approval of mining projects,” Tudor Bradățan, Declic’s executive director.

[1] Mining Watch Romania was founded by activists of the Save Roșia Montană campaign and monitors mine proposals. Mining Watch joined the local Certej community in its efforts to verify the legality of the Certej cyanide-based mine proposal. Among the steps taken since 2014 to stop the mine have been to suspend the procedure for destroying 56 hectares of forest from the National Forest Fund in 2018. The network’s activity is supported by individual donations.
[2] File 130/117/2016 *