Court Victory on the Rosia Montana Urbanistic Certificate

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Court Victory on the Rosia Montana Urbanistic Certificate

Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources
Alburnus Maior
Joint Press Release
For Immediate Distribution

Court Victory on the Rosia Montana Urbanistic Certificate

Cluj-Napoca, 22 October 2008 - The Tribunal of Timisoara yesterday admitted a court action promoted by Alburnus Maior and the Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources (ICDER) and judged that Urbanistic Certificate No 105/2007 is suspended de jure (1).  This verdict confirms the Ministry for the Environment’s assessment of September 2007 which concluded that Urbanistic Certificate No 105/2007 is suspended de jure and therefore produces no effects for the Rosia Montana licensing procedure.

Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) is 80% owned by ‘Gabriel’ Resources (TSX:GBU), a small and inexperienced Canadian mining company which plans to uproot the people of Rosia Montana to realize Europe's largest open-cast cyanide gold mine. From the outset the venture has been beleaguered by scandals, operational problems and vehement local, national and international opposition. The American miner Newmont (NTSE: NEM) owns 19.9% of Gabriel and American Electrum Strategic Holdings LLC owns 17.85% of Gabriel.

In early August 2007 the Rosia Montana project owner requested and obtained Urbanistic Certificate No. 105/2007 in order to continue the environmental licensing procedure (EIA). Both Alburnus Maior and ICDER subsequently promoted a court action asking the court to verify whether in light of Romania's new Administrative Litigation Law, Urbanistic Certificate N. 105/2007 is suspended de jure. According to Art. 14/5 of Law 554/2004 if an authority issues a new administrative act with the same content as one already suspended, then the new one is suspended de jure. In September 2007 the ministry for the Environment assessed that based on the new administrative litigation law, Urbanistic Certificate No.105/2007 is therefore suspended de jure and produces no effects. The ministry subsequently announced (2) that it can not continue the EIA procedure for the Rosia Montana proposal. Yesterday’s verdict by the Timisoara Tribunal confirms that Urbanistic Certificate No 105/2007 is suspended de jure.

During the action that lead to yesterday’s verdict the Rosia Montana project owner used several means to prolong the procedure. As a first measure they raised a procedural exception of unconstitutionality of Art. 14/5 of Law 554/2004. It was rejected by Romania’s Constitutional Court (3).  As a second measure the Rosia Montana project owner made a request for the court case to be moved to another court. Their request was admitted by Romania’s Supreme Court (4) and the case was moved from the Cluj to the Timisoara Tribunal.

"After such a long time in the courts we are delighted to have secured such an important confirmation. We are confident that Urbanistic Certificate No.105/2007 will be annulled and that that the Rosia Montana EIA procedure will subsequently be declared invalid, “concludes Dan Mercea, ICDER’ s president.

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For more information please contact attorney Andreea Szabo on  +40 (0) 745 617968   and attorney Marius Liviu Harosa on  +40 (0) 744 599 762  .

ENDNOTES:
1. File Number 3779/117/2007 at the Timisoara Tribunal
2. http://www.mmediu.ro/departament_mediu/rosia_montana/pdf/NOTE_Suspension.pdf
3. The court’s decision was published on 19 March 2008 in the Romania’s Official Gazette.
4. Case No. 4411/1/2008 of the Supreme Court/ Bucharest 

 

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