MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Young Romanians March Against Canadian Gold Mining Project

Published by MAC on 2004-08-23

Young Romanians March Against Canadian Gold Mining Project


23rd August 2004

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Bucharest - Several dozen young Romanians on Monday began a long march to show solidarity with the Rosia Montana region of central Romania, in protest against a Canadian open-air mining project there.

The youngsters, who set off from Cluj in Romania's central west region, plan to walk 130 kilometres (80 miles) over six days before arriving at Rosia Montana where a big open air concert is planned for August 28, organisers said.

Before leaving, they received a blessing from the archbishop of Cluj who assured them of the support of the Orthodox Church during a speech in the town's central square.

The project of the Canadian firm Gabriel Ressources calls for extracting 300 tons of gold and 1,700 tons of silver from a 20-square-kilometre (eight-square-mile) area.

The project will see half of the local area destroyed and some 2,000 people forced to move from their homes as well as the removal of several churches and cemeteries, opponents point out.

"All the gold in the world will not be able to replace the cemeteries and the archaeological heritage of Rosia Montana," Archbishop Bartolomeu Anania said.

Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, among others, has voiced opposition to the mining project.

The Romanian Academy has pointed to a similar project in northern Baia-Mare which provoked an ecological disaster in January 2000 when a cyanide spill polluted the Tisza and Danube Rivers, contaminating the drinking water supplies of 2.5 million people and killing an estimated 1,200 tonnes of fish.

Related Links:

FanFest Project: Romanian Music Artists join for a Benefit Concert and Solidarity March to Save Rosia Montana

The Save Rosia Montana Campaign web site:

Decenas de jóvenes rumanos protestan en contra de un proyecto minero canadiense en Rumanía


23 Ago. 2004

BUCAREST - Varias decenas de jóvenes rumanos iniciaron hoy una "marcha de solidaridad con Rosia Montana", en el curso de lo que quieren que sea una protesta contra el proyecto de una compañía canadiense de la apertura de una mina de oro a cielo abierto en esta comuna del centro de Rumanía.

Los jóvenes, que salieron de Cluj (centro-oeste), quieren recorrer 130 kilómetros andando en seis días, antes de llegar a Rosia Montana, donde se celebrará un gran concierto al aire libre el 28 de agosto, según indicaron los organizadores.

Antes de su partida, los participantes recibieron la bendición del arzobispo de Cluj, Bartolomeu Anania, que les aseguró "el apoyo de la Iglesia ortodoxa", mayoritaria en este país, durante unas breves declaraciones pronunciadas en la plaza central de la ciudad.

El proyecto de la compañía Gabriel Ressources prevé la extracción, con la ayuda de cianuro, de unas 300 toneladas de oro y 1.700 toneladas de plata diseminadas en 20 kilómetros cuadrados, lo que implica la destrucción de una mitad de la comuna y el realojamiento de unos 2.000 habitantes, así como el desplazamiento de varias iglesias y cementerios.

"Todo el oro del mundo no podrá remplazar los cementerios y el patrimonio arqueológico de Rosia Montana", que alberga unas galerías romanas del siglo II únicas en Europa, subrayó Anania.

El primer ministro, Adrian Nastase, y la Academia rumana están abiertamente enfrentados en este proyecto minero que "contribuirá a desfigurar la región", según ellos.

Por su parte, el Gobierno húngaro ha expresado su "inquietud" en cuanto a la apertura de esta mina, informando de que la utilización de cianuro en una mina de oro rumana, en Baia-Mare (norte), fue el origen de una catástrofe ecológica en enero de 2000, que contaminó gravemente el Danubio.


Proyecto FanFest: Concierto de músicos rumanos a beneficio y marcha de la solidaridad en apoyo a Rosia Montana

Web site de la campaña Rosia Montana:

'Hear Our Voice: Rosia Montana is Not For Sale!'

Rosia Montana, Romania;

29. August 2004

The FanFest Project reached its climax last night when it attracted a crowd of 4,000 people to the FanFest (Hay Party) Protest Concert in Rosia Montana. According to 'Alburnus Maior', the event organizer and its partners MTV Romania, Rebel Music, Greenpeace CEE, Mindbomb and the Peace Action, Training and Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR), the FanFest Protest Concert was an unprecedented event uniting the "Save Rosia Montana" Campaign, Romania's largest civil society movement to date. The campaign was born four years ago when local property owners founded 'Alburnus Maior' to oppose Rosia Montana's destruction by Europe's largest open cast cold mining project.

Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) which is 80% owned by the Canadian-based mining junior Gabriel Resources (TSX:GBU) intends to realize Europe's largest open cast gold mining project in Rosia Montana; located at the heart of the country's beautiful Apuseni Mountains. In addition to the employment of the controversial cyanide leaching method the development entails amongst other, the involuntary resettlement of over 2000 people, the destruction of four mountains, two valleys, ten churches, nine cemeteries as well as unique archeological treasures.

From its' very onset the project has been beleaguered with scandals and operational problems; including local, national and international opposition by both civil society and expert institutions.

The arrival of the Solidarity March in Rosia Montana signaled yesterday's first important event. Well over 200 marchers reached the village's center at around 3p.m; after having walked 137 km from Cluj-Napoca to Rosia Montana in six days to express their solidarity with the affected population living along the so-called Ariesului Valley. At Rosia Montana the participants were welcomed by locals and later joined the concert on a plateau overlooking the valley.

From 4p.m onwards over 4000 participants gathered for the FanFest Protest Concert to unite their voice into one loud message: "Rosia Montana is not for sale!" Performances started at 8p.m featuring musicians and DJs such as Ombladon, Luna Amara, Freakadadisk, Zob, Bitza, Zale, DJ Dox, Romano/G- Force Sound, Unu, Shekinah, Spike, LBC KRU, Travka, Guerillas and Klan. All artists performed free of charge; this explicitly against the destruction of Rosia Montana and for a sustainable future.

"Now you can see with your own eyes why we care so much about Rosia Montana and why we refuse its destruction by a monstrous project. Our lives and lands are not subject to negotiation. People are more important than gold", said Eugen David, Alburnus Maior's president, welcoming the crowd.

"We will not be intimidated by political or financial games. We came here to show that Rosia Montana belongs to people who are very much alive" (Shekinah). "We got up on the stage to sing for Rosia Montana because we don't want it to be destroyed. It is a situation (of how many?) when people are crushed into an imbecile lure for gold. This time we are not only selling off people, but forests and mountains. Why do we want to stop this project? Because money has no life!" (Luna Amara); were some of the artists' protest messages.

The FanFest Project including the Protest Concert was sponsored by the Ratiu Family Foundation, the JMG Foundation, Greenpeace CEE, X minus Y Solidarity Fund, Atta, Magnum, Monopolis SA, Alimpam, Firma9, Romsver, and individual donations. The event was supported by media partners such as MTV Romania, Curierul National, Formula AS, Sapte Seri, Monitoul de Cluj, Radio Cluj, Stil FM, CD Radio, Revista 22, Radio Orion, Metronom, RTM Radio, Radio DaDa. The FanFest crew would like to thank all those who made it happen; especially those who sent solidarity messages and offered on-line support. The concert was a strong peaceful action; this despite attempts to discourage people from reaching the event's place by tearing apart posters, guiding signs and by handing out defamatory leaflets.

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