EC says no breach of EU legislation so far by Rosia Montana mining project

The European Commission (EC) is closely following the Rosia Montana mining project, but there has been no breach of the EU legislation so far, Joe Hennon, spokesman for the European Commissioner for environment Janez Potocnik told Agerpres.

Asked by Agerpres about the letter received by Commissioner Potocnik this Tuesday from MEPs Erik Banki – FIDESZ, Laszlo Tokes – independent EPP affiliate, and Csaba Sogor – UDMR, asking the European official to provide information about the European Commission’s intended actions in response to the recent developments in Romania that envisage a sped up approval of a mining project using the environmentally risky cyanide leaching technology, Joe Hennon answered that there has been no breach of the EU legislation so far, but the EC is closely following this project.

The adequate implementation of the EU Directive on mining waste will minimize risks to public health and the environment posed by mining activities that require the use of cyanide, Joe Hennon said.

As for the explanations required by three Eurodeputies for the lack of action by the EC in regulating a complete ban on the use of cyanide technology in the mining industry, given the passage by the European Parliament, in May 2010, by a large majority, of a resolution requiring a decision on the matter until the end of 2011, the spokesman of the European Commissioner for environment said that given the very strict provisions of the EU Mining Waste Directive and the absence of suitable alternatives to cyanide technology in the extraction of gold, as per the current state of the art, a general ban on ore cyanidation does not seem indicated.

Not in the last place, mentions Joe Hennon, it is important to increase the recycling rate of products containing precious metals in the EU, as this can reduce the dependence on gold mining in the Union and will contribute to increasing resource efficiency.

Csaba Sogor, one of the signatories of the letter sent on Tuesday to the Commissioner of the environment, on Wednesday told Agerpres that he is confident the European official will get involved in this case, although Potocnik had previously declared that this is for the national government to sort out.

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