Fresh protests erupt over Europe’s largest gold project

Existing open pit at Rosia Montana mined by Romanian state-owned company during Soviet times.

Fresh protests against Europe’s would-be largest gold mine was held in Romania on Sunday.

Thousands of people gathered in the capital Bucharest and other cities in the Eastern European country on Sunday in a show of opposition against the Rosia Montana project in Transylvania.

AP reports protesters marched past government headquarters yelling, “Your treason is measured in gold!” with thousands calling for the site of the proposed mine to be listed as a UNESCO heritage site.

It is believed the be one of the richest deposits in Europe with 314 tonnes of gold and 1,500 tonnes of silver and where mining activity dates back to the 1st Century.

The villages around Rosia Montana have seen better days

Protesters are battling Canadian company Gabriel Resources (TSX:GBU) – which has been advancing the project since the late 1990s at a cost of well over $500 million under seven different CEOs – over the firm’s plans to use cyanide and other environmental impacts of building the open cast mine.

The company proposes four gold quarries with the potential to produce 500,000 ounces of gold per year over the mine’s lifespan, which would destroy four mountaintops and wipe out three villages of the 16 that make up Rosia Montana.

In September Romanian government established a commission to produce a report by October 20th. The Parliament will then vote in November. The President has also proposed holding a referendum.

Gabriel Resources has responded to the government’s hesitancy by threatening to sue for $4 billion.


Pictures of today’s protest from Twitter: