Rovina’s destructive gold and copper mining project has been halted in court.
Mining Watch achieved in court the blocking of the Rovina mining project. The magistrates ruled to permanently suspend the environmental approval for the urban plan, which is required by Euro Sun Mining to secure building permits and start the mining operation.
The decision of the Cluj Court of Appeal suspends the environmental permit until the merits of the annulment case are addressed.
“The reason that the project cannot continue was the prevention of impending damages,” said Roxana Pencea Brădățan, founding director of Mining Watch Romania.
“A Canadian company with no experience and many subsidiaries in tax havens is going to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of mining waste from two huge surface quarries,” said Brădățan. “On top of that, the technology that Euro Sun wants to use in Rovina has caused an environmental disaster in Canada, at Mount Polley: 25,000,000 cubic meters of toxic water have leaked into one of the deepest lakes in the world.”
Declic, a non-governmental group that is part of the Mining Watch network, found that neither a climate impact assessment study nor a quality assessment of surface and groundwater had been done.
Furthermore, the environmental assessment that served as the foundation for issuing the Environmental Notice was prepared by individuals who were not legally certified. Local citizen associations and environmental protection organizations chastised the mining firm in court for failing to conduct cross-border consultations with possibly affected governments or effective consultations with local residents.
Also, the environmental assessment that was used as the basis for putting out the Environmental permit was done by people who were not qualified to do so by law. More to it, the mining company failed to conduct cross-border consultations with possibly affected governments or effective consultations with local residents.
From the start, the idea was met with fierce local and national opposition.
“First and foremost, it is a victory for civil society. Mining is a destructive project for the Apuseni Mountains, my home. I have been and will continue to be involved in this fight until the end. The court’s decision gives me hope that we will be able to stop the destruction for good,” said Adriana Maucher, one of the landowners on the mining project’s footprint.
The Valea Rovinei project is in the county of Hunedoara. It involves extracting three gold-copper resources from an area of 2,768 hectares. The whole project is owned by Samax Romania, which is a subsidiary of Euro Sun Mining.
“If the mine opens, the people who live here will have to move. We want companies to invest in the village, but not in a way that hurts people and nature,” said Viorica Bold, president of the local association EcouRovinaBucureşci.
“The EcouRovinaBucureșci organisation, which is mostly made up of property owners, will continue to do everything legally possible to prevent the mining project from proceeding. The Rovina mining project threatens our town from various angles, including environmental destruction, social division, irreversible loss of natural, cultural, and historical heritage, corruption and manipulation”.
The Ecou Rovina Bucureșci organisation, which is mostly made up of commune residents, will continue to do everything legally possible to prevent the mining project from proceeding. The Rovina mining project threatens our town from various angles, including environmental destruction, social division, irreversible loss of natural, cultural, and historical zonal heritage, lifestyle ruin, corruption, and manipulation.
The Cluj Court of Appeal issued its ruling in file 3989/117/2022, Link.
Unlike the Roşia Montană and Certej projects, the Rovina project is wholly owned by a private enterprise, with no involvement from the Romanian government.
Mining Watch Romania is a collaboration of groups that brings together local communities.
Mining Watch monitors the permits issued by the authorities for the benefit of mining companies and reports irregularities to decision-makers in Romania. Among its activities are court actions and advocacy, to ensure that the authorities correctly apply the relevant legal provisions.