Published: Thursday, September 13, 2007
Toronto-based gold junior Gabriel Resources said Thursday the Romanian government has suspended the review process for the controversial Rosia Montana mine project.
The environment ministry halted the assessment of the mine's environmental impact following a court challenge launched by two groups opposed to the mine.
"We are extremely disappointed by the actions of the ministry of environment," said Alan Hill, Gabriel's chief executive, in a statement. "It seems to display a total disregard for the rule of law in Romania."
Controversy swirled around the Rosia Montana project since it was proposed in the late 1990s. Some locals and European environmental groups vehemently criticize the proposed open-pit gold mine, saying it would damage one of the world's most promising archeological sites and ruin the local environment.
Gabriel says the project would provide jobs to an area badly in need of economic development and pump more than $2-billion into the country's economy.
Romans first mined the area when they arrived in 200 A.D. The area is believed to contain the largest untapped gold deposit in Europe.