Cluj-Napoca/Romania, 22 July 2016 – Yesterday the Court of Justice at Cluj-Napoca admitted a request formulated by Mining Watch Romania Network and its legal councilor, the Independent Center for the Development of Environmental Resources (ICDER). Both requested the suspension of the validity of the construction permit for the site management facilities of the Certej tailings dams.
The construction permit was issued in February 2015. It has been the second failed attempt by Deva Gold to start site management works for its mine proposal. In 2014 Deva Gold obtained a first construction permit but it was legally contested by the Hunedoara Prefecture and irrevocably annulled in court.
The Certej mine development is proposed by Eldorado Gold (ELD), a low cost Canadian gold miner that intends to open Romania’s first open pit mine using cyanide. It is managed by Deva Gold SA, a joint-venture between Eldorado Gold (80%) and Minvest Deva (~20%), a state-owned company. The project has faced strong opposition; at the national and transnational level. Both tailings dams, with a height of 169 m and 70 m, are of additional concern given that they would be located in the close vicinity of several densely populated villages such as Hondol, Bocşa Mică and Certej.
The court’s decision of yesterday has immediate effects and recourse would not override yesterday’s decision until its final resolution. This means that the construction permit issued to Deva Gold to prepare the facilities in order to later build the tailings dams has lost its legal validity.
“Romania’s local authorities continue to cover-up and commit irregularities to favor foreign investors but to the detriment of the people. We will continue to watch authorities and legally challenge those we deem to be illegal”, comments Oana Cătălina Poenaru, Mining Watch Romania’s legal consultant.
Notes for editors:
The mine proposal is owned by Eldorado Gold through its subsidiary Deva Gold and is currently at the construction stage for the mine site. The project footprint covers 456.2 ha, which at the moment are covered by forests, meadows, agricultural land and residential areas. A significant part of the project is located a protected Natura 2000 site – ROSPA 0132 Metaliferi Mountains. The mine, having an estimated annual output of 3 million tonnes of ore, requires the deforestation of 187 ha to place two open pit mines and two tailings dams.
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