Romania says no to Europe’s largest gold project

Romanians celebrates the parliament’s decision.

After months of street protests across Romania against Canada’s Gabriel Resources proposed gold mine at Rosia Montana, the parliamentary commission appointed to rework the project rejected it.

Toronto-listed Gabriel (TSE:GBU) was trading nearly 11% lower in early afternoon trade on Monday on the news, although Romania Insider reports “this is not the end for the gold mining project, as the Parliament is expected to draft a new law.”

The $311 million counter is down 65% this year as plans to develop an open-cast mine which once in production will be Europe’s largest producing 500,000oz/year, face increasing opposition from environmental and community groups.

“We have a very, very robust case, and we believe we have claims up to $4 billion that we can send to the Romanian state,” Gabriel Resources Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Henry, said in an interview in September. “We will go ahead and do that if the vote is against.”

The controversial mine has cost Gabriel Resources more than $580 million under no fewer than seven different CEOs, since the Canadian firm first obtained the concession in 1999.

Gabriel owns 80% of local operating subsidiary Rosia Montana Gold Corporation with the Romanian government the remainder.

Rosia Montana 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.