Monday, November 11, 2013

Romanian commission set to reject gold mine project

(Reuters) - A special Romanian parliament commission is set to reject a draft bill that would allow Canada's Gabriel Resources Ltd to set up Europe's biggest open-cast gold mine in the Carpathians, the senate speaker said on Monday.

Gabriel has been waiting 14 years for approval to use cyanide to mine 314 tonnes of gold and 1,500 tonnes of silver in the town of Rosia Montana. The state also holds a minority stake in the mine.

Earlier this year, the government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta proposed a bill to speed up the project by setting strict deadlines for the approval process.

The bill, which triggered countrywide protests against the mine, prompted parliament to set up a commission to assess the bill. It is expected to file its report on Monday.

"The current government bill will be rejected," said Crin Antonescu, senate speaker and the head of the liberal party, a member of the ruling coalition.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie; editing by Radu Marinas)

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