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Environmental activists urge Cluj Court in Romania to suspend Rosia Montana Gold Corporation’s mining license

Environmental activists from the Mining Watch Romania network are urging the judges of the Cluj Court of Appeal to suspend the mining license of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) in a bid to halt any potential mining operations in the area permanently.

Following a decision by the Washington Court, hopes were high that Rosia Montana would be safeguarded. However, RMGC persists in its request to extend the exploitation license. Roxana Pencea Bradasan, representing Mining Watch, expressed concern over the possible extension of the license, fearing irreparable damage to the valuable archaeological remains of the Roman, medieval, and modern periods in the area. She emphasized the potential conflict between the mining license and UNESCO regulations, which could hinder any future rehabilitation efforts.

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In a press release, Bradasan stated, “If this license is not suspended by the judges, we risk that the National Agency for Mineral Resources extends it again in June 2024.”

The Mining Watch network has filed a lawsuit against both RMGC and the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), seeking to suspend the administrative documents for license extension issued in 2019 and block the current license extension procedures (no. 47/1999). The case is scheduled for its first trial date on May 9, 2024.

According to the organization, the Mining Watch network argues in its court notification that the RMGC license should be suspended for two main reasons. Firstly, they contend that the extension administrative acts were approved by an incompetent authority, ANRM, rendering them invalid. Secondly, they point out that more than 210 days have passed since the extension documents were issued in 2019, providing grounds for revocation under Law No. 85/2003.

The organization highlights the history of the license, originally granted to the state company Minvest in 1999 and later transferred to the private company RMGC (formerly Euro Gold Resources). They assert that renewing the license would perpetuate illegalities and hinder the development of the Apuseni locality due to pressures from the mining company.

Mining Watch Romania is a national network comprising activists and non-governmental organizations dedicated to preserving Romania’s natural and cultural heritage.

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