Romania’s lower house of parliament may have put the last nail in the coffin for Canada’s Gabriel Resources (TSX:GBU) Rosia Montana project, by rejecting Tuesday a bill that would have allowed the firm to proceed with plans to set up Europe’s biggest open-pit gold mine.
The London-based company, reports Romania Insider, has put the mine plan on hold indefinitely, though it could theoretically be brought round if a new bill were sent forward at a later stage.
The bill, initially approved by the country’s ruling party, drew thousands of anti-mine protesters into the streets across the European Union country last year, prompting the parliamentary commission appointed to rework the project to reject it in November.
Things took a turn for the worse in December, when the Romanian Parliament ruled against a bill that would’ve allowed the Rosia Montana project to proceed.
The lower house had the final say, and it clearly expressed its opposition to the draft law Tuesday with 302 votes against and only one in favour.
For years Romanians have protested against Rosia Montana, which they deem as an environmentally risky project and an even larger problem of political corruption.
The pollution concerns are tied to the company’s planned use of cyanide to extract gold and silver from the ore.
To date the company has waited more than 15 years for permits for the project, which costs are up to about $1.5 billion.
While Gabriel Resources did not comment on the news, it has said in March it was unable at the time to provide shareholders with any guidance on time frames for its flagship project.
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