Gabriel Resources officially a smallcap as investors hack off another 12%

Gabriel Resources (TSE:GBU), advancing the Rosia Montana gold project in Romania, was hammered on the Toronto exchange on Monday, dropping 12% to $1.83 by the close.

More than 3.2 million shares in the company changed hands – six times the usual volumes – and the counter’s losses for the year to date have now reached a staggering 70%.

There was little fresh news out on Gabriel Resources to account for the slide other than further evidence of the chaotic regulatory environment and erratic politicians in the European nation which emerged last week.

Fellow Canadian miner El Dorado Gold Corp was threatened with the cancellation of its Certej mining project over cyanide use by Romania’s PM Victor Ponta. El Dorado reacted Friday saying it was confident its permit, granted in July this year, was in full compliance.

In May Gabriel Resources also fell victim to Ponta when the PM – the fourth person to serve in that role this year – ordered the umpteenth review of Rosia Montana “so that the permitting decisions take into account the national interest, environmental protection and European legislation.”

On Friday Gabriel Resources was added to the S&P/TSX SmallCap Index on the Toronto exchange as part of an annual reshuffle of constituents.

Being officially relegated to the minnows category and dropping further from the radar of institutional investors is something of an embarrassment for the company which today has a market value of $695 million, down from a peak of over $3 billion at the end of 2010 and $2.5 billion at the start of the year.

Gabriel Resources has spent more than $500 million under no fewer than seven different CEOs advancing the 80%-owned Rosia Montana project since the firm first obtained the concession in 1999.

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