The Ministry of Environment supports forbidding cyanide based mining for gold and silver

The Ministry of Environment recommended the Government to support an initiative to forbid cyanide based mining for gold and silver and declared that the Government will finalize its official position on the matter, currently in progress, but it will play a consultative role for the members of the Parliament.

The legislative proposal for modifying the Law of mining 85/2003 by forbidding cyanide based mining for gold and silver has been sitting in the Parliament for some years now. The Senate rejected the initiative in 2013, when the economic and also finance committees of deputies forwarded a negative notice.

Back then, the government led by Ponta gave a negative advice to the Parliament, on the basis that the European Commission does not see the justification in terms of environment or health, and it will lead to disappearance of jobs. Moreover, there would have been legal matters to handle by creating a unilateral cancellation of the contract and having to pay compensations for lesions.

But the above mentioned committees only have an advisory role, whilst the Chamber of Deputies has a final say, and the favorable report of the industry and environment committees is more important.

According to the new format of the law, with initiators from all the parties, the cyanide based mining will be forbidden in all stages of the process of excavation, processing or treating the waste, and moreover, in maximum one year from the coming into force, any company that operates in these conditions will have to cease its activity and ensure the ecological rehabilitation of the affected area. Each day over the deadline will be penalized with a fee between 50.000 RON and 100.000 RON, and also by withdrawing their license.

The projects affected by these legal provisions would be Certej and Rovina, from Hunedoara, and Rosia Montana in Alba, each one of them having Canadians as main shareholders.

By Mihaela Constantin

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