24 January 2021

Legal victory over the Eldorado Gold Certej gold mine proposal /Romania

September 28th, 2019 – Mining Watch Network România is pleased to announce that the Eldorado Gold Certej gold mine proposal is blocked. Today the Cluj Court of Appeal upheld a verdict pronounced by the Cluj Court which cancelled the urbanism zoning plan (PUZ) for the entire mine proposal. Today’s verdict is final.


Today’s ruling invalidates all acts based on the cancelled PUZ obtained by Deva Gold from 2010 to present – this ranges from environmental to construction permits. To ensure compliance our lawyers have today shared the ruling with the authorities at the local, regional and national level. Eldorado shareholders should count their losses and this environmentally disastrous mine project is now blocked indefinitely,” said Roxana Pencea Brădățan from Mining Watch România.

In recent years, the mining operator in Certej seemed unstoppable. One by one, the parent company Eldorado Gold grabbed no less than seven mining perimeters in the Golden Quadrilateral in the Apuseni Mountains of Transylvania. Their intention has been to merge them into one huge open-pit exploitation; using cyanide to separate the gold from the ore. If their plan were to succeed, the exploitation and initial destruction would be double in size than what has been proposed at Roşia Montană.

The PUZ for the Certej mining project was approved by the Certeju de Sus Local Council, via decision No. HCL 11/2010. An urbanism zoning plan (PUZ) is a set of local rules governing land use and the design of industrial objectives. It is issued by the Local Council to the benefit of an operator and in this case, to the benefit of a mine operator.

The court verdict noted that the urbanism zoning plan (PUZ) was issued in violation of applicable environmental protection legislation. This also means that all permits obtained by Deva Gold from 2010 to present were obtained in violation of applicable European and/ or Romanian legislation.

The Certej mine development is located in the commune of Certejul de Sus/ Hunedoara county. It is owned by Deva Gold SA, a joint venture between Eldorado Gold (80%) and the state-owned company Minvest Deva (~ 20%). Eldorado Gold – ELD (TSX) /EGO (NYSE) – is a Canadian low-cost gold company that plans to open the first cyanide-based open-pit gold mine in Romania.The project is facing strong opposition in Romania and beyond. The height of the dams for both tailings ponds would be at 169 m and 70 m respectively, and are an additional cause of concern as they would be located in the immediate vicinity of several densely populated villages: Hondol, Bocşa Mică and Certej.


Note: Court File 130/117/2016

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