Romania creates new company to manage participation in gold mining project Rosia Montana

The Rosia Montana gold mining project could finally become reality, as Romania decided to create a new company to handle its participation in the project.

In an attempt to bring more cash to the state budget, relaunch the mining industry and create new jobs, the country’s Government plans to create Minvest Rosia Montana, which will take over the 19.3 percent shares the state has at Roşia Montană Gold Corporation, in charge of the mining project. This is the first time in the last couple of years when the country has made real further steps in the Rosia Montana project.

The new company will have mining services as its main activity and will work under the ministry delegate for infrastructure work and foreign investments, Dan Sova.

The Roşia Montană Gold Corporation company is controlled by the Canadian firm Gabriel Resources, which 80.4 percent of its shares. According to the media, behind Gabriel Resources are billionaires such as John Paulson, Beny Steinmetz and Thomas Kaplan.

The gold mining project has been strongly opposed in Romania and its development stalled for several years, as the project does not yet have environmental approval.

The Rosia Montana site in Alba county is evaluated at some 300 tonnes of gold and 1,600 tonnes of silver, and has been under concession to Roşia Montană Gold Corporation for exploitation.

Opposed by NGOs, the project has been lobbied for by politicians, including by Romania’s president Traian Basescu, who argued the gold mine would bring revenues to the state budget and much needed jobs.

Last year, prime Minister Victor Ponta said the Government was planing to delay a decision on the Rosia Montana project until after the parliamentary elections, which took place in December. Environment Minister Rovana Plumb recently said the project is being evaluated by the ministries tasked with giving their green light, and that the Government will have to approve the project. The PM also said the project would be approved once three conditions were met: the guarantees for environment protection, renegotiating the state’s participation in the project and removing all political interests from the lobbying for the project.

Adapted from Romania-Insider


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