Protesters march in downtown Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. Thousands have protested against a Canadian gold mining project in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana.
Photo Credit: Vadim Ghirda/AP

Gold mine in jeopardy, Canadian company threatens Romania with billions dollar lawsuit

A Canadian mining company is threatening to sue the government of Romania for billions of dollars if it doesn’t approve its Rosia Montana gold mine project in what’s known as the Golden Quadrilateral in the mountains of Transylvania.

Earlier this summer Gabriel Resources Ltd had expected the project would get government approval, but protests against the operation appear to have swayed government intentions.

On Wednesday, Gabriel Resources CEO Jonathan Henry told Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper the company would go ahead with its lawsuit if the government does stop the mining project

“If the lower house [of parliament] does reject the project, we will go ahead with formal notification to commence litigation for multiple breaches of international investment treaties for up to $4-billion,” he told the Globe. “Our case is very strong and we will make it very public that Romania’s effort to attract foreign investment will suffer greatly.”

The company website calls the site of the mining project “one of the oldest mining sites in the world, with a history stretching back some 2000 years,” but protesters are concerned by the use of cyanide for gold extraction.

Solidarity demonstrations in support of the anti-mine protests are planned for September 15, including demonstrations in the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal.

More information:
Globe and Mail – Gabriel threatens Romania with billion-dollar lawsuit – here
Global News – Protests, cyanide concerns may halt Canadian-Romania gold mine project – here
Gabriel Resources website description of Rosia Montana project – here
Rosia Montana anti-mining website  – (in English here)

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