Rosia Montana, 31. January 2014 – The Suceava Tribunal has admitted a request formulated by ‚Alburnus Maior’,‚Save Bucharest’ and the ‚Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources’ to suspend all legal effects of Archaeological Discharge Certificate (ADC) 9/2011 issued by the Alba county regional Directorate for Culture until the main court action which aims to cancel ADC 9/2011 has been irrevocably resolved. The ruling on the suspension has legal effects from the moment the ruling is pronounced. Any appeal does not suspend the effects of this judgment and ADC 9/2011 remains suspended until the irrevocable ruling of an eventual appeal.
Rosia Montana’s Mount Carnic hosts Europe’s largest and best preserved network of Roman, medieval and modern mining galleries unearthed to date. It is protected under Romanian legislation (Law 5/2000 and Law 422/2001) which ranks it as a monument of national interest. Mount Carnic is the centre of Rosia Montana’s cultural patrimony, yet at the same time it houses the area’s largest gold deposit. This is why Carnic’s open-cast exploitation proposed by Gabriel Resources’ Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) operation would be the very first stage of the proposed mining project. Yesterday’s ruling effectively renders it impossible to prepare all prerequisite permits to obtain a construction permit and equally blocks the still ongoing environmental permitting procedure.
Mount Carnic has been the subject of research and archaeological exploration since 2000. In 2004 Romania’s ministry for Culture first issued an archaeological discharge certificate for this area. However, in December 2008 Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice irrevocably annulled this first ADC.
Following a request by RMGC, a new archaeological discharge certificate was issued in June 2011, this time however by the Alba county regional Directorate for Culture. Shortly after its issuing ADC 9/2011 became the subject of a court action introduced by the three above mentioned Romanian NGOs. The case aimed to annul the ADC, claiming that ADC 9/2011 had been issued over an area that had not been properly researched from an archaeological point of view. No preventive archaeological research had been undertaken in Carnic’s modern mine galleries and neither had they been exhaustively researched. What’s more, vast areas dating from Roman times that had not been researched had been included in ADC 9/2011’s perimeter.
Until an irrevocable solution of the court action to annul ADC 9/2011 is reached, the claimants requested the suspension of all legal effects of this administrative act. The file for the suspension request was originally introduced at the Cluj Tribunal in January 2012. It was later moved by Romania’s High Court of Cassation and Justice (verdict no. 7020/31.10.2013) to the Suceava Tribunal.
Of great importance to prove the unique significance of Mount Carnic’s heritage has been an expert report authored by Andrew Wilson (University of Oxford), David Mattingly (University of Leicester) and Mike Dawson (CGMS). Commissioned by Romania’s ministry for Culture the report details why Rosia Montana’s heritage and especially, Mount Carnic need to be protected. In their conclusion the three experts compare a possible destruction of Mount Carnic to cultural vandalism.
"According to the country’s Administrative Litigation Law 554/2004 and vast jurisprudence in the field, the suspension means that all legal effects of ADC 9/2011 are invalidated as this is precisely the object of a suspension. Its’ beneficiary will not be able use the act until a final judgment of the action to irrevocably annul ADC 9/2011 has been reached given that there exist clear reasons for illegalities and the imminent danger of irreversible damages that could not be repaired at a later point. I am referring to the destruction of a unique cultural heritage of outstanding universal value," said attorney Dr. Marius Liviu Harosa who has been representing the claimants.
The court action to annul ADC 9/2011 is currently with the Buzau Tribunal and the claimants estimate that it will take roughly 2 years until an irrevocable verdict has been reached.
For further information please contact Dr. Marius Harosa on +40-744599762 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Romania’s list of Historic Monuments, approved by Order no. 2.361/2010, no. crt. 146 lists with AB-ISA Code 20329 the "Mount Carnic galleries" dating from the Roman, Medieval and Modern eras; situated in the village of Rosia Montana, Rosia Montana.
2 High Court of Cassation and Justice, Department of Administrative Litigation, File no. 434/64/2006, Decision no. 4607 of 9 December 2008.