In its current state the RMGC mining project can only be carried with a relocation of the local community. This relocation means sacrificing the majority of the private properties, the public buildings and the all the churches serving the community. Roșia Montană, the way we know it today will cease to exist. As proven many times before major relocations are traumatic for the communities involved and should only be considered as options in special cases of public utility, which is not the case at Roșia Montană. The RMGC mining project is a project offered by a private company aiming for a big profit and even though it might bring a few hundred jobs for a limited period of time in the area, on the long run the negative social and environmental impact will never be compensated.
The impact of a mining project on the local community – case study: Martha Mine, New Zeeland
Martha Mine (Waihi, New Zeeland) was used many times by RMGC as a “good mining operation” example. However, the social impact study conducted in 2009 by researchers from Queensland University (Australia) for Newmont Company (the mine holder) found:
- a population much older compared with the average in that region;
- a population showing a tendency to leave the mining area when the exploitation is over (over 50%!);
- a population having double the number of individuals presenting mental illnesses and double the number of individuals disabled or socially assisted (representing half of the active population) compared to other communities in the region;
- incomes under the region’s average;
- education level under the region’s average;
- major problems related to domestic violence and the consumption of alcohol / drugs.
The negative experience with Martha Mine was the base argument for the protests initiated in the summer of 2011 by the people of New Zeeland, against similar mining projects. As a result, in the same year, the Government of New Zeeland denied the approval of other gold mining projects (in Coromandel region) estimated to 60 billion dollars.
In august 2011, a month after the Government of New Zeeland decided to stop any other mining projects similar to the one at Waihi, RMGC invited some Romanian journalists in a field trip to Martha Mine and presented the project as a model in the mining industry!