Alburnus Maior Association is an NGO based in Rosia Montana, Alba county, Romania, which represents the interests of those inhabitants in Rosia Montana and Bucium villages who are against the Rosia Montana mining project and refuse to sell their properties to allow the mining development. The Association was established on 8th September 2000 and is against the open cast mining project proposed by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation company (the Project), based on social, environmental, economic and cultural heritage grounds. The proposed project would use cyanide and is envisaged to be the largest open cast mining site in Europe.
The Association initiated and coordinates the Save Rosia Montana Campaign against this mining project; within its 13 years of life so far this campaign became the largest social and environmental movement in Romania. The campaign demonstrated its efficiency in that the mining project, initially envisaged to start production in 2004, is still blocked now in 2013. This is the result of hundreds of demonstrations and lobby activities at national and international level, writing petitions, informing the investors and shareholders of Gabriel Resources, actions in court, information seminars for local people regarding alternative economic activities instead of mining, cultural activities etc. The SRM campaign mobilised its forces at each stage of the permitting procedure for the mining project, highlighting the weak points of the project by independent experts. The public was informed and encouraged to express their opinions each time when the procedure or the events required this. Thus the SRM campaign has currently over 100,000 active supporters.
The 10+ years of activism have turned the initiative of some local people of Apuseni Mountains into the largest civil society mobilisation in Romania. The Save Rosia Montana campaign brings together non-governmental organisations, international organisations for the protection of cultural heritage, academic and scientific institutions, representatives of religious confessions, as well as simple citizens who support the Alburnus Maior cause.
The opposition towards the opening in Romania of the largest open pt mine in Europe is a symbol of the civic spirit and of the efforts made to defend human rights. The fight of local people in Rosia Montana creates a national precedent of solidarity for defending the right to a clean environment, to cultural heritage, to free expression of opinions, to respect for private property.