Geologists estimate that Romania has 1,500 tons of gold in its mineral deposits, but high extraction costs will leave much of the precious metal underground for a long time, the ‘Romania Libera’ newspaper reports. The total value of these gold deposits was estimated at more than USD 86 bln, according to an evaluation of mineral reserves made by the Romanian Geological Institute (IGR), at the current price of 1,800 USD/ounce. “Rosia Montana is the absolute champion, with reserves between 600 and 700 tons of gold, but there are also deposits at Bucuresci-Rovina (about 100 tons of gold) or Barza (some 300 tons),” explains Gavril Sabau, scientific director with the IGR. Experts however warn that much of this gold will stay unearthed for a long time, because of the very high cost of opening a new mine. For the time being, there is no authorised gold mine in Romania. “They are all in the licensing stage. Besides Rosia Montana, there is also Deva Gold. A second one is at Baia Mare, for mining waste,” said the president of the National Authority for Mineral Resources (ANRM), Alexandru Patruti. The last Romanian gold mine closed in 2007, at Barza, Hunedoara County, although it still contains an estimated 300 tons of gold. At that time, the mine was considered as inefficient.