Protest against planned cyanide-process gold mine in Romania

Romanian demonstrators display banners reading "Save Rosia Montana" during a protest in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, against a controversial Canadian gold mine project in the village of Rosia Montana. Photograph by: Mircea Rosca, AFP/Getty Images

CLUJ, Romania — About a dozen people occupied a historic building in the Romanian city of Cluj on Monday to protest a plan to mine gold using the controversial cyanide process in a nearby heritage area.

“We call on the Romanian president and prime minister to stop lobbying in favour of this harmful project,” protester Raluca Dan said.

“We want to draw attention to the lies spread about the project, which is to use large quantities of cyanide and destroy all that represents the value of Rosia Montana village,” the protesters said in a statement.

The protesters, including architects, artists and a telecommunication engineer, said they would not leave the disused Renaissance and Baroque-style building in Cluj’s central square until their demands are met.

The company, Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, a subsidiary of Gabriel Resources, wants to extract 300 tonnes of gold at the site in north-central Romania using the cyanide process, which is banned in several countries.

President Traian Basescu actively supports the project, criticised by environmental groups and advocates of heritage protection because the site is near Roman galleries dating from the second century, unique in Europe.

The project is awaiting a go-ahead from the environment ministry.

Article by and cross posted from AFP here see also here

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