Rather than accept unfavorable government decisions, such as a permit denial, some companies are suing countries under investment agreements that allow them to “seek international arbitration” in publicly inaccessible World Bank tribunals. Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources, which has the backing of US giant Newmont, is the latest mining company to resort to this tactic. Gabriel is threatening to sue the Romanian government if it does not get approval for its proposed Rosia Montana open-pit gold mine.
Our partners in Romania shared some good news with us yesterday: The Romanian Parliament rejected legal amendments that would have paved the way for the development of the proposed Rosia Montana mine by Canadian-owned Gabriel Resources. If built, the residents of Rosia Montana would have to be forcibly resettled because the mine would destroy the entire town.
(Ottawa) December 5, 2013. MiningWatch, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Council of Canadians and Earthworks join the call of Romanian and Canadian protesters to request the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Members of Parliament for:
Introduction of legislation to make Canadian corporations, particularly extractive industry corporations, accountable for proposed projects and actual operations abroad and
Withdrawal of Canadian Government support for Gabriel Resources' mining project in Romania at Rosia Montana.
Good news: The Romanian parliament rejected the proposed Rosia Montana open-pit gold mine on Monday, after months of protests on the streets of Bucharest and around the world. As we've blogged about before, this mine proposal epitomizes “dirty gold” for many reasons.
Located in the Apuseni mountains of west central Romania, the Rosia Montana project would have become Europe's largest open-pit gold mine operation if constructed by Toronto-based Gabriel Resources. But thanks to widespread opposition and court challenges by Alburnus Maior, a local community group, the Romanian government halted the approval process for the project in 2007, forcing Gabriel Resources to reconsider its mine plans and scale back its activities. The government of Romania, and the European Parliament, have also considered measures to ban cyanide mining, which would probably shut down the project for good.
January 23: Eighty organizations across Romania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Canada, and the United States released a statement today highlighting the local, national, and international opposition to the Rosia Montana cyanide open pit gold mine project in Romania, refuting accusations of "exaggerations and misleading claims" in a recent film entitled "Mine Your Own Business." The film was financed by Gabriel Resources, the Toronto-based mining company that wants to build the Rosia Montana mine.
San Francisco, CA: Stephanie Roth, a mining activist in Romania, has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize. Considered the Nobel Prize for the Environment, the Goldman Environmental Prize is awarded each year to outstanding grassroots environmentalists from each of the six continental regions. Roth is this year's European winner. The award draws attention to the considerable environmental and human impacts of gold mining.