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October 6, 2022

Environment Commissioner: EC thinks cyanide ban in mining not justified

A statement made on behalf of the European Commission by Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, and quoted by Euromines, says that, following in-depth analysis of the European Parliament’s resolution, the Commission considers that a general ban of cyanide in mining activities is not justified. European Association of Mining Industries Euromines published a release presenting a statement Potocnik made on June 23, in reply to a parliamentary question on the planned ban on the use of cyanide in mining. In the Euromines-quoted statement, the EC commissioner also says the limit-values for cyanide storage set forth in the relevant directive ‘are among the strictest possible.’ “Due to the lack of better (in the sense of causing less impact on the environment) alternative technologies, a general ban on the use of cyanide would result in the closure of existing mines operating in safe conditions, and would be detrimental to employment without additional environmental and health added value,” Potocnik also said, according to the Euromines association. At its Brussels plenary sitting of May, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for a ban on the use of cyanide mining technologies in the European Union, invited the Commission to propose a general ban on cyanide-based mining technologies in the EU by the end of 2011. In a press release sent to Mediafax news agency right after the EP’s vote, representatives of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation – the company seeking to mine gold and silver at Rosia Montana, in the west of Romania – were arguing that the Parliament’s vote ‘was not legally binding’ and that “it had only demonstrated the existence of an orchestrated and unscrupulous attack on Romania and its future development.”

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