Photo by MiningWatch Romania.
Vancouver-based Eldorado Gold, the company behind the open pit Skouries gold-copper mine set to open next year in the Halkidiki peninsula of northern Greece, is pursuing a destructive mine in Romania. Furthermore, it was doing so even as major protests were being waged against the Rosia Montana gold-silver mine there.
The gold-silver mine in Certejul de Sus proposed by Deva Gold (partly owned by Eldorado Gold) would be located in the Apuseni Mountains, cover 450 hectares of land (of which 187 hectares are forest), and produce 26,000 tonnes of cyanide over its expected 16 years of operation.
Deva Gold was established in 2000 with European Goldfields owning 80 per cent of the company. European Goldfields was founded that same year when Gabriel Resources was split into two companies. Whitehorse-based Gabriel Resources Ltd. was to build the Rosia Montana mine and European Goldfields the mine in Certejul de Sus. European Goldfields was subsequently bought by Eldorado Gold.
According to MiningWatch Romania, Deva Gold has been working on the mine this month despite lacking the authorization needed for the construction. MiningWatch is also challenging the environmental permit for the mine saying it is not clear who would pay if there was a cyanide spill and highlighting there are no additional permits to clear cut the forest or to mine in an area with archaeological value.
Gabriel Resources is reportedly preparing an investor-state claim against the Romanian government because it rejected the proposed Rosia Montana mine given huge protests over environmental and archaeological concerns. That massive open-pit mine in the Carpathian mountains would have used cyanide to mine about 314 tons of ton of gold and 1,500 tons of silver. It would have destroyed mountainsides, displaced about 2,000 villagers, and created a 300-hectare toxic tailings pond.
The Council of Canadians and Blue Planet Project have worked with Romanian and Greek allies to stop the Rosia Montana and Skouries mines. We have also highlighted that the Canada-European Union ‘free trade’ agreement would make it more difficult and costly to stop destructive mines like these given corporations would be armed with the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism in it.