5 December 2022

Mining Watch: Romania’s Government must communicate the decision of the Ploiesti court of appeal to the World Bank tribunal. We don’t want Romania to pay compensation for Gabriel Resources’ lies

Mining Watch Romania is asking the Ciucă Government to urgently
communicate the decision of the Ploiești Court of Appeal to the arbitration court in Washington. This decision irrevocably annulled the last archaeological discharge certificate covering the Cârnic massif/Roșia Montană. It is a key document in the arbitration case and could help Romania escape paying $4.4 billion to Gabriel Resources.

Romania’s government has just a few days left to submit its final conclusions to the Washington tribunal. The Ploiesti Court of Appeal’s decision is crucial because it nullifies one of the main pieces of evidence fabricated by Gabriel Resources.

Given that the award is scheduled to be announced this year and that there are only a few days left for the government’s lawyers to submit their final conclusions, we believe that the Romanian state now has all the arguments to win. It must use them!” said Liviu Marius Harosa, the attorney at law representing the NGOs that obtained the annulment of archaeological discharge certificate no.9/14.07.2011.

Specifically, the Ploiesti Court of Appeal overturned a decision issued by the Buzău Tribunal on 10 December 2020 and ordered the cancellation of the archaeological discharge certificate covering the Cârnic massif/Roșia Montană.

Ironically, this first decision of the Buzău court has been used by Gabriel Resources and its lawyers in the arbitration case to strengthen their argument that the nomination of Roșia Montana as a UNESCO World Heritage Site was unfair.

At a time when the appeal was already ongoing, Gabriel Resources’ lawyers presented the Buzău court’s decision as final and irrevocable, which was not true.

According to the documents filed in the arbitration case, Gabriel Resources’ lawyers filed ‘new evidence’ on 29 October 2021. At that time, the Ploiesti appeal was already ongoing, according to the court file.

Over the years we lost count of Gabriel’s lies. This time we want regulators, arbitrators and the lawyers representing the government to see them. Much is at stake and there is little time left. If we remain silent now, then Gabriel Resources will get away with its lies meaning that Romania’s citizens might have to pay an extortionate amount of compensation to them,” said Stephanie Roth, representative of Mining Watch Romania. “At the same time, we don’t understand why Romania’s lawyers have not yet challenged Gabriel Resources’ claims. Any law student can read a court decision. Today we publicly ask the government to correct that oversight and to file the real final decision to the case” added the MiningWatch Romania representative.

An archaeological clearance certificate – ADC – is an administrative act which when granted, puts a previously protected area back into the economic circuit.

Via a final and irrevocable decision the Ploiesti Court of Appeal ruled in February 2022, that the archaeological discharge certificate (ADC) was unlawful. The beneficiary of the ADC was the Rosia Montana project owner. The court based its decision on the fact that the archaeological discharge certificate had no recommendation from Romania’s Archaeological Commission and no urbanism certificate; despite being legal prerequisites. The appeal was filed by three NGOs: Alburnus Maior, the Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources and Save Bucharest.

Based on publicly available information, Gabriel Resources has as of today, not informed the arbitration tribunal, nor its shareholders about the Ploiesti court’s decision; this despite its material impact.

Gabriel Resources is regulated by the Alberta Securities Commission and is obliged to share new developments with material impact. The fate of Carnic, either as a pit or a monument, has material impact given that it is the richest deposit amongst its licence and hence central to compensation claims, as evidenced by Gabriel Resources updating its shareholders and arbitration judges over the Buzau ruling. This is even more relevant given that Gabriel Resources recently secured $5.6mil mainly to finance Arbitration costs – based on that incomplete information.

The Ploiesti Court of Appeal decision to annul the archaeological discharge certificate covering the Cârnic Massif is available here.

For more information and statements, please contact:
Stephanie Roth
Mining Watch representative
Phone (+4)0 749390375
stephanie.d.roth@googlemail.com

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