Rosia Montana vs. Gabriel Resources GBU - 2:0. Two vital permits for the mine proposal are annulled by court

2014-04-16 10:45:00

Rosia Montana/Romania, 16. April 2014 – Two judgments, both of which are very important for Rosia Montana, were released yesterday. The first relates to the annulment of the environmental avis for ‘RMGC’s modified Zoning Plan for the Industrial Development area.’ The second rejected an appeal submitted by the project owner about suspending the archaeological discharge for Rosia Montana’s Carnic Massif.

Both sentences represent a crucial set-back for RMGC’s plans to exploit Rosia Montana with cyanide. Both verdicts have an impact on the validity of administrative acts; mandatory for RMGC to obtain the environmental approval for the project. With these verdicts two important steps in permitting and both well over eight years old, were cancelled. The verdicts thus certify the illegal conditions with which these permits had been issued in the first place.

The Suceava Court of Appeal confirmed the permanent suspension of archaeological discharge certificate (ADC) no. 9/2011 over the Carnic Massif. It is the second ADC obtained by RMGC for the archeological discharge of the area and challenged by Alburnus Maior. The court verdict has immediate effect and will be valid until the main trial on the annulment of the same ADC by the court of Buzau has been judged. It will take roughly two years until that case is irrevocably settled. Its predecessor was annulled by the Brasov court of appeal in 2007.

The Carnic Massif at Rosia Montana hosts Europe’s largest and best preserved network of Roman, medieval and modern mining works currently unearthed. It is protected by Romanian legislation (Law 5/2000 and Law 422/2001) as a monument of national interest [1]. According to independent archaeological experts from Britain, Carnic houses the “most significant mining system so far discovered in the ancient Roman Empire” [2].

"The court confirmed the obvious illegality of ADC no. 9/2011 and considered irrevocably that it represents an imminent prejudice for Rosia Montana’s cultural heritage. This is an important victory in the battle to stop the mine," said Av. Dr. Marius Liviu Harosa, representing the plaintiff NGOs during the court case.

On the very same day, the Covasna Tribunal annulled the decision of the Sibiu Regional Environmental Protection Agency (REPA) to issue an environmental permit for RMGC’s modified zoning plans of the industrial development area. Such environmental however, permit is mandatory to continue the environmental impact assessment procedure. During the hearing the plaintiff NGOs showed how the decision to grant the environmental permit seriously threatens the protection statue of the natural and historical monuments at Rosia Montana.

According to Eugen David, president of Alburnus Maior, "Today is a double victory for Rosia Montana! The two court sentences highlight once again that mining companies are incapable to develop lawful mining projects in Romania. The courts recognize illegalities after illegalities but also the complicity of the Romanian authorities to our detriment; that of the local communities.”


[1] List of Historic Monuments approved by Order no. 2.361/2010, no. crt. 146 lists "Carnic galleries", in the village of Rosia Montana, Rosia Montana, with AB-ISA Code 20329; dating Romanian era, Medieval, Modern.
[2] Andrew Wilson (University of Oxford), David Mattingly (University of Leicester) and Mike Dawson (CGMS).

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