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Vote on mine in Romania to take place under threat of investor-state challenge

A final vote is expected to take place today (November 6) on the controversial Rosia Montana mine in Romania. Members of the Romanian Parliament’s Rosia Montana Commission will vote on the first part of a report on the mine, a draft bill, and a summary of the hearings that took place. The news reports, “It is now up to the Romanian Parliament to give its vote on the project, after the Government approved it earlier this year.”

In mid-October, Globe and Mail business columnist Eric Reguly wrote, “(The Canadian mining corporation) Gabriel’s sin was a bigfoot approach that cast it in Romania as the uncaring, imperial miner. Launched in the mid-1990s, the company’s plan was to make a lot of money quickly by building a four-pit monster, one that would blow up two mountainsides, displace about 2,000 villagers and fill an entire valley with waste-rock and cyanide-laced sludge. Covering nearly 300 hectares, the so-called tailings pond would rise from an initial height of 70 metres to 180 metres – one third the height of Toronto’s CN Tower – and eventually hold 215-million tonnes of waste.”

In September, Whitehorse-based, Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Gabriel Resources Ltd. threatened the Romanian government with ‘litigation for multiple breaches of international investment treaties’ for up to $4-billion if it didn’t approve the controversial gold mine.

It has been previously reported that the Romanian Parliament would vote on the matter on November 20. There is also the possibility that a referendum may be held on the mine.

We are opposed to the Rosia Montana mine, reject the use of investor-state mechanisms in ‘trade’ agreements (whether that is the Canada-Romania FIPA or the to-be-ratified Canada-European Union CETA) that undermine the public interest, and express our solidarity and unity with all those opposing this destructive mine.

Photo: On October 13, there was a massive protest in Bucharest in opposition to the mine.