The Support Group of Rosia Montana Project rejects the initiative of the 16 MEPs who accused the European Commission of favoring gold mining in Europe

The Support Group of Rosia Montana Project includes over 50 members, representing non-governmental organizations, ma­yors from Alba and Hunedoara Counties, universities with tradition, as well as employers’ associations and national and regional representative trade union organizations.

The Support Group rejects the recent initiative of 16 MEPs, including three Romanians, of addressing accusations to the European Commissioner for Environment with regard to the European Commission’s support of the cyanide-based technology in gold mining. We bring to the attention of the MEPs who signed the letter that the cyanide-based mining technology is extremely safe provided that it strictly complies with the European environmental legislation. 90% of the world’s gold mining projects use this technology tested for over 100 years. The European Union applies the most stringent legislation on cyanide mining, with the lowest maximum levels admitted in the world.

The European Commission is the only one competent to give a specialist input on the technical aspects implied by the use of cyanide in mining, having expressed pointedly and repeatedly in favor of the use of this technology. Even the European Parliament, the members of which are the 16 objectors, adopted the Raw Materials Initiative on September 13th, 2011, which encourages mining in the European Union so that the EU can ensure the raw materials requirement from own resources. Thus, under the circumstances in which the institutions of the European Union promote the mining industry, we do not understand how the 16 MEPs chosen by the EU citizens to represent their interests in the European Parliament can fight the mining-generated progress and economic development.

We regret that the signatories of the protest letter against the European Commission include also three representatives of Romania in the European Parliament, who contest the Rosia Montana Project. We are certain that the Romanian MEPs are aware of the suffering and decline of the Rosia Montana area and of the Gold Quadrangle of the Apuseni Mountains with the inhabitants there, but they knowingly ignore this. These mining areas have a 2000-year old tradition in mining and, with the closure of the State-owned exploitation, they remained hopeless. The gold mining project at Rosia Montana, in addition to other modern mining projects, will create the premises of a sustainable development at regional and national level, re-launching mining in Romania. At a time when the Romanian economy is in recession, this project will create thousands of jobs and generate activities for a thousand SMEs from Romania. By the environmental guarantees provided, the rigorous cultural patrimony restoration plan and the active involvement in the community’s social and cultural life, the Rosia Montana Project is a solid and responsible investment that the area of the Apuseni Mountains, as well as Romania, needs.

Steering Committee of the Support Group of Rosia Montana Project

5 October 2011

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