Mining project of Rosia Montana

Mining project of Rosia Montana

The story is based on a mining project in Romania, and a village with the name Rosia Montana. This village is known from prehistoric times specifically for gold mine extraction. I have written a lot about Rosia Montana, and the implications in such projects are from environment, culture, economic, etc. perspective. There are lots of issues which needs to be partly discussed to understand the whole existing conflict from Rosia Montana. In the last paper that I published in the volume Rosia Montana in Universal History, (Cocean Pompei(editor), Rosia Montana in Universal History, Cluj University Press, 2012) I wrote about lobby and advocacy campaign lead by Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (the mining company which does gold extraction) and Alburnus Maior(is a roumanian NGO from Rosia Montana which represents the citizens from that place). I don’t want to favour the one or the other part, but certain things are so clear that we can’t say that these are different. So, to understand a little about Rosia Montana I will put forth some points here to highlight the problematic things of Rosia Montana:

  1. At The International Level - We have already faced a cyanide incidence with our neighbours from Hungary, Yugoslavia, in 2000. That year a cyanide incident took place at Baia Mare. The consequences were grave, tonnes of fishes were killed and a plethora of negativity spread in the territory of our state and our neighbouring states. Kindly do not take my words in wrong ways, I am highlighting these incidents for the perspective of well being of our neighbours. I am not against mining projects, but we have to do this more carefully because the consequences are disastruos for people, water, environment, economically, socially, etc.  
  2. At The National Level - I have read lots of articles about country which extract natural resources as gold, silver, copper, etc. from their country. I can offer more information to those who are interested in it, but for now I can really assert that: in Romania- foreign Mining company (Rosia Montana Gold Corporation) has 80.685% and our Romanian Company has 19.31% stake - please keep in mind that this is the smallest percentage which I have ever seen in a country with respect of its resources. In every democratic country, or in every country that respect its citizens, the proportion between this two is: after the pay off of production costs, the ratio is 80% for state whose territory is used as resources and 20% for mining company. In our country the mining law says that the due for our state is 2% . I would like to ask a question, Where someone has ever seen this kind of situation in the world, in the historyof the global world…?
All the state’s institutions which has the right to agree or reject this project have to admit that the resources belongs to their state and to their citizens and are not for foreign mining companies.
  1.  At The Local Level - I will highlight few aspects which are almost visible to the naked eye. (more information I can offer at the conference).
Economically - The mining company told us that it can offer more than 3600 jobs. But, we have to be a little bit careful, no more than 800 people can work in a mining company as big as Rosia Montana. I searched it very carefully, and I even found a table of data from one specialist who work with a foreign mining company. This table shows us the same thing, that no more than 800 people can work in a mining company. In all the phase from construction, extraction, till the closing of the project aproximately 1200 people can work. So, the information provided by the company is a little bit distorted. We can create these jobs, and Alburnus Maior has started to show lots of projects like “The Gold Road at Rosia Montana”, “Cyclist Road to visit Rosia Montana”, and others some of the projects are to provide jobs in a sustainable way.

Culturally - There are lots of historical monuments which will be destroyed. These are situated at the centre of the mining project where mining will take place. More than 10 memorial houses, 410 graves, six cemeteries, orthodox church, catholich church, the prayer houses from Corna, will be destroyed together with all cultural patrimony. Also, Rosia Montana is the oldest documented mining settlement in Romania (about 1,870 years old) which will also get destroyed due to this.

Environmentally - The distance from the rivers of  Rosia Montana to Danube is no more than 400-500 km from the river coast. First, we and people from our neighbour contries together can get killed any time from potential cyanide contamination due to this project. Second, to complete this project they have to cut all the forests from Rosia Montana, the home of almost 90 wild birds’ species that are being observed and ptoected by law, and the list can go on.

These informations are very few, and for me to draw a general conclusion is a bit difficult at this moment. But I just want to emphasize the fact, that the resources belongs to our state and our citizens, and not to foreign mining company. According to my point of view and the available data I would like to propose that we should sustain a ratio of 80% for Romanian State and 20% for Foreign Mining Company, however if in case it is not possible I also propose to develop some other alternative alternative to this that can help protecting environment from getting destroyed, prevent causing harm to the people and also help in a sustainable development of the people, environment,  and the country on the basis of social, cultural and economic terms.

Welcome back!

Hi Ionela, good to hear from you again!

This seems to be a neverending debate in our country… and I am amazed of how little I still know of it. It became so politicized that arguments on both sides can be valid if one doesn’t dig deeped.

I was actually a bit surprised to see so many civic NGOs protesting against it, but even more surprised to see local people’s testimonies in the press, advocating in favor. I wonder if they were offered something more than just a job in exchange for their support…

See you soon at Lote, have a safe flight!

Rosia Montana

Dear Noemi thnak you for your comment, if you have time, pleasa look at this:;

Kind regards