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January 31, 2023

EC not currently planning to ban cyanide mining, despite MEPs request

The European Commission (EC) is not currently planning to ban mining with cyanide, as it considers such a decision is not justified from environmental and health perspectives, a press release sent by DG Envi reads, quoted by Mediafax. EC argues that the limit values for cyanides stocking under 2006/21/CE Directive, are among the lowest. “As far as we know, there are no other alternatives to gold extractions on the market (…) A full ban on cyanide use at present would imply the closure of the existing mines, particularly in Sweden and Finland which have been operating safely for many years (…) That would also affect  the number of jobs,” the  EC communiqué shows.

In May 2010, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling on the EC to adopt by the end of this year norms to ban cyanide use in mining, citing health and environmental risks. At that time most MEPs gave the example of Rosia Montana gold mining project developed in western Romania and the Baia Mare accident in 2000, when 100,000 cubic meters of cyanide-contaminated water was spilled into the Somes River. The Commission decided not to comply with the European Parliament’s request.

Mining is presently at issue in the Romanian media, but also in the national Parliament. The Opposition has recently asked for the merging of the draft laws that seek to amend the mining law. PSD President Victor Ponta announced on Tuesday evening that his party initiated more amendments to the existing mining law, proposing that mining licenses should be given through legislative act.

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