Roșia Montană (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈroʃi.a monˈtanə], "Roșia of the Mountains"; Latin: Alburnus Maior; Hungarian: Verespatak, [ˈvɛrɛʃpɒtɒk]; German: Goldbach, Rotseifen) is a commune of Alba County in the Apuseni Mountains of western Transylvania, Romania. It is located in the Valea Roșiei, through which the small river Roșia Montană flows. The commune is composed of sixteen villages: Bălmoșești, Blidești, Bunta, Cărpiniș (Abrudkerpenyes), Coasta Henții, Corna (Szarvaspatak), Curături, Dăroaia, Gârda-Bărbulești, Gura Roșiei (Verespataktorka), Iacobești, Ignățești, Roșia Montană, Șoal, Țarina and Vârtop (Vartop).
The rich mineral resources of the area have been exploited since Roman times or before. The state-run gold mine closed in late 2006 in advance of Romania's accession to the EU. Gabriel Resources of Canada plan to open a new mine. This has caused controversy on one hand over the extent to which remains of Roman mining would be preserved and over fears of a repeat of the cyanide pollution at Baia Mare and on the other, over the benefits that mining would bring to this poor and underdeveloped part of the country.
The campaign against mining at Roșia Montană was one of the largest campaigns over a non-political cause in the last 20 years in Romania. A plethora of organizations spoke out against the project, from Greenpeace to the Romanian Academy. After a series of nationwide protests in the autumn of 2013, the Chamber of Deputies eventually rejected the project on 3 June 2014. Moreover, Roșia Montană has been classified as a historic site of national importance, by an order of the Ministry of Culture issued on 30 December 2015. Thus, industrial activity is prohibited in the area.
Location in Alba County
Location in Romania
|• Mayor||Eugen Furdui (PNL)|
|• Total||42 km2 (16 sq mi)|
|• Density||92/km2 (240/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
There is archaeological and metallurgical evidence of gold mining in the 'Golden Quadrilateral' of Transylvania since the late Stone Age. Alburnus Maior was founded by the Romans during the rule of Trajan as a mining town, with Illyrian colonists from South Dalmatia . The earliest reference to the town is on a wax tablet dated 6 February 131. Archaeologists have discovered in the town ancient dwellings, necropolises, mine galleries, mining tools, 25 wax tablets and many inscriptions in Greek and Latin, centred around Carpeni Hill. The Romans left Dacia in 271.
Mining was much expanded under the Austrian Empire with the encouragement of the Imperial authorities. Charles VI funded the construction of ponds („tăuri”) in 1733. After the empire broke up in 1918, most of the remaining veins were mined out under fixed-length concessions granted to local citizens. The sulphide-rich waste generated large volumes of sulphuric acid which in turn liberated heavy metals into local water sources, in addition to the mercury used to extract the gold.
In 1948 the mines were taken over by the Romanian state, with traditional small scale underground mining continuing until the late 1960s. Attention then turned to the lower-grade gold disseminated through the rock surrounding the veins. In 1975 an open-cast pit was constructed at Cetate for bulk mining. This mine was operated by Rosiamin, a subsidiary of the state-owned company Regia Autonomă a Cuprului din Deva (RAC), and provided 775 jobs, representing most of the employment in the region. The ore was flotation-concentrated at Gura Roșiei and then extracted by cyanide leaching at Baia de Arieş. This mine needed subsidies of $3m/year in 2004 and was closed in 2006 before Romania joined the EU.
The Project's origins are in a 1995 deal signed by RAC Deva with the controversial Romanian-Australian businessman Frank Timiş about reprocessing the tailings at Roșia Montană. Several years later, the mining licence for an area of 23.8823 km² around Roșia Montană was transferred to the Roșia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) from Minvest Deva SA (successor to RAC Deva). RMGC is owned 80% by Toronto-listed company Gabriel Resources, 19.3% by the Romanian government via Minvest.
Within the project, Roșia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) plans to produce 225 tonnes of gold and 819 tonnes of silver over 17 years and it would involve digging up a large area, involving the creation of four mining pits covering 205ha, the first two at the old mining sites of Cirnic and Cetate, followed by pits at Jig and Orlea in Phase II. Up to 250 million tonnes of cyanide-laced tailings will be stored in a 363ha pond in the Corna Valley behind a 185m-high dam.
The corporation was not able to gain full authorization for the project. State authorities granted permits which were later annulled by the courts following appeals by environmental groups. The environmental impact assessment procedure started in 2004, but a final approval was still been given.
The company began buying up houses in the city, but about 100 residents refused to sell and, supported by environmentalists, architects, archeologists and lawyers, they have been battling the corporation and the state in courts. The main concerns of the opponents are related to environmental dangers of cyanide leaching of gold (as Romania witnessed the 2000 Baia Mare cyanide spill), as well as the destruction of the ancient Roman sites in Roșia Montană.
Resistance to RMGC's plans followed a Romanian Academy report on the project released in April 2003, which recommended that all cyanide mining be suspended in Roșia Montană. In the following years, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Catholic Church and the Romanian Unitarian Church have all signalled their opposition to the project. Large NGOs such as Greenpeace and political organisations such as the European Federation of Green Parties are also opposed.
In August 2005, the Canadian government announced that it supports Gabriel Resources' project; in October 2005, Miklós Persányi the Hungarian Minister of Environment announced that the Hungarian government strongly opposes the project. The Hungarian Historic Churches are particularly concerned about the threat to monuments and churches that are part of the common Hungarian cultural heritage.
In 2013, the Victor Ponta government announced that it will send through parliament a new law that would allow the bypass of environmental and heritage regulations that prevented the project from being started. This led to the 2013 Romanian protests against the Roșia Montană Project in major cities across the country.
In November 2013 the senate rejected a draft law which would have paved the way for the mining project to go ahead. Previously, a parliamentary Special Commission concluded that the wording of the draft law was inadequate and recommended that a new law be introduced for the implementation of large scale mining projects across Romania. Amid speculation that the rejection of the draft law could mean the end of the mining project, Gabriel have said that it is 'a first step in defining the next phase of developing Roșia Montană'.
In Roșia Montană, each year since 2004, in August, several NGOs have organized a free music festival in aid of the Save Roșia Montană campaign. "FânFest" (Fân means "hay" in Romanian) has featured many big Romanian bands and singers, such as Ada Milea, Luna Amară, Shukar Collective, Timpuri Noi, Sarmalele Reci, Viţa de Vie and from the Republic of Moldavia - Zdob şi Zdub. All artists perform pro bono in aid of the campaign and to celebrate artistic diversity and multiculturalism.
The three-day FânFest event has a large range of cultural, environmental, musical and outdoor activities as well as offering the chance to participate in various workshops. The main stage features groups performing rock, jazz, folk, reggae and world music. The 2006 FânFest saw a second, "Alternative Activity", tent hosting theatre and dance performances, video projections and other cultural, environmental and social activities.
The 2012–15 unrest in Romania refers to a prolonged period of civil unrest and political scandals in Romania, which took magnitude after the second half of the 2000s. The wave of civil demonstrations started in January 2012, once with the introduction of a new health reform legislation. The protests were fueled by the austerity measures applied in May 2010, but also by the unpopularity of Băsescu-backed Boc government. The demonstrations were characterized by widespread rioting and acts of vandalism. The political situation precipitated, so Prime Minister Emil Boc decided to step down on 6 February 2012.
In the first six months of the year, three governments have been changed. The summer of 2012 was marked by a large-scale political crisis, fed by accusations of plagiarism to PSD-backed Prime Minister Victor Ponta and culminating with the suspension of President Traian Băsescu. Although the presidential impeachment referendum showed that over 80% of the voters wanted his dismissal, the referendum was invalidated by the Constitutional Court due to presence below 50% at polls. During this period, Romania was warned by Western powers about the state of democracy, inasmuch as the dismissal of the presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies was made in a shady manner, and prominent figures of PSD, including Vice-President Liviu Dragnea, were accused of vote rigging in the referendum.
After sweeping victory in legislative election on 9 December 2012, Victor Ponta – supported by the Social Liberal Union – was named Prime Minister of Romania. His mandate was marked by corruption scandals and street protests. The demonstrations had various causes, among them the tax hikes, the exploitation of shale gas through hydraulic fracturing and the Roșia Montană Project. Hundreds of thousands of people, including doctors, teachers, students and laborers, took to the street to shout their dissatisfaction regarding his policies. Employees in transport and health system triggered several strikes in this period. Although mainly peaceful, the protests degenerated in some cases in clashes between demonstrators and law enforcers. Ponta Government was accused by national and international organizations of excessive use of force in the Revolt of Pungești. Ethnic Hungarians started a series of protests for the autonomy of Szeklerland, while the unionist movements (see Action 2012) demanded the unification of Romania and Moldova, both in Romania and over the Prut.
In the winter of 2014, the ruling alliance collapsed, after internal tensions between PSD and PNL. The National Liberal Party left the alliance and merged with the Democratic Liberal Party to form the largest right-wing party in Romania in the post-revolutionary period. In the summer of the same year, Victor Ponta from PSD and Klaus Iohannis from PNL launched their candidatures for the presidential election. To everyone's surprise, ethnic German Klaus Iohannis won the election. Ponta's failure was mainly due to irregularities concerning the voting process in diaspora and numerous corruption scandals involving figures from the party he leads. During the electoral campaign, people protested against Victor Ponta and members of his government, inasmuch as thousands of Romanian citizens in diaspora were prevented from exercising their right to vote due to bad organization of the election process.2013 Romanian protests against the Roșia Montană Project
The 2013 Romanian protests against the Roșia Montană Project were a series of protests in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and dozens of other cities in Romania and abroad against the Roșia Montană mining project. The protesters say that the mining project would destroy the environment and heritage of Roșia Montană and demand the withdrawal of a law which would enable this project to commence. In Bucharest, protests are held every evening in the University Square and marches are held each Sunday.
Although at first largely ignored by the world press, the demonstrations are starting to receive more significant worldwide attention both by the media and the general population via the use of social networks. The protests were dubbed by Romanian press and not only Indignants Movement (Romanian: Mișcarea Indignaților) and Romanian Autumn (Romanian: Toamna Românească).2016 World Monuments Watch
The World Monuments Watch is a flagship advocacy program of the New York-based private non-profit organization World Monuments Fund (WMF) that calls international attention to cultural heritage around the world that is threatened by neglect, vandalism, conflict, or disaster.Abrud (river)
The Abrud (Hungarian: Abrud-patak) is a small river in the Apuseni Mountains, Alba County, western Romania. It is a right tributary of the river Arieș. It flows through the town Abrud, and joins the Arieș near Câmpeni. It is fed by several smaller streams, including Izbicioara, Cerniţa, Valea Albă, Pârâul Buciumanilor, Abruzel and Roșia Montană.Alba County
Alba County (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈalba]) is a county (județ) of Romania, in Transylvania, its capital city being Alba-Iulia with a population of 63,536.Claudiu Crăciun
Claudiu Crăciun (born November 2, 1978) is a Romanian academic, environmental and civic activist. A lecturer at the National School of Political Science and Public Administration, Crăciun has been active in the Romanian civil society, being involved in both the 2012 Romanian protests and the 2013 Romanian protests against the Roșia Montană Project and the protests against illegal logging in 2015.Enea Hodoș
Enea Hodoș (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈene̯a ˈhodoʃ]; December 31, 1858 – July 25, 1945) was an Imperial Austrian-born Romanian prose writer and folklorist.
Born in Roșia Montană, Alba County, in the Transylvania region, his parents were Iosif Hodoș and his wife Ana (née Balint). His brothers Alexandru "Ion Gorun" and Nerva were both writers. He attended primary and secondary school in his native village, at Baia de Criș, Brad, Brașov and Blaj. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna, but did not graduate; and took literature and philosophy at Vienna and Budapest. At Sibiu, he taught in the Astra civil school for girls and, from 1886 to 1888, belonged to the group around Tribuna newspaper.Beginning in 1899, he taught Romanian, Hungarian and history at the Caransebeș pedagogical institute in the Banat region. While there, he put together a collection of representative local folklore. His interest in the subject had existed since childhood, when he read Vasile Alecsandri's anthology, given to his father by the author. While a student in Brașov, his teacher Ioan Alexandru Lapedatu spoke about folk songs; another teacher, Ioan Micu Moldovan, offered a more practical example. Thus, together with his pupils, Hodoș would spend school vacations gathering folk poetry. He retired, seemingly by force, in 1905, and became an editor of Telegraful Român. Hodoș worked on the Sibiu newspaper until his death, aside from a temporary return to teaching, at Sighet between 1919 and 1920 (by which time his native province had united with Romania). In 1904, he was elected a corresponding member of the Romanian Academy. His published debut in the Blaj typewritten magazine Filomela in 1876. Publications to which he contributed include Amicul familiei, Aurora română din Cernăuți, Convorbiri Literare, Familia, Foaia ilustrată, Foaia diecezană, Luceafărul and Tribuna. His Schițe umoristice ("Humorous Sketches") appeared in 1897, and he translated from Ivan Turgenev.Gabriel Resources
Gabriel Resources Ltd. is a Canadian TSX-V-listed resource company focused on permitting and developing controversial Roșia Montană gold and silver project located in western central Romania. The Project, the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Europe, is owned through Rosia Montana Gold Corporation S.A. (RMGC), a Romanian Company in which Gabriel Resources holds an 80.69% stake and CNCAF Minvest S.A., a Romanian state-owned mining enterprise, the rest..
Rosia Montana is the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Europe, hosting measured and indicated resources of 10 million ounces of gold and 47.6 million ounces of silver, together with an inferred resource of 1.2 million ounces of gold. The project is estimated to produce 626,000 ounces of gold annually during its first five years of operation, with an estimated average of 500,000 ounces of gold and 1.79 million ounces of silver per year over its 16-year mine life.
The project is in an area which has been mined for many centuries and as recently as 2006 was subject to open pit mining by Minvest. The project is subject to many protests. In September 2013, street protests took place in Bucharest, Cluj and other Romanian cities (see 2013 Romanian protests against the Roșia Montană Project). As a result, Gabriel shares dropped 64 percent (to a total of 41 percent drop this year), its rating being suspended by Scotia Capital.In June 2017, the company sued the government of Romania for $4.4 billion at the World Bank Tribunal, due to delays in the Rosia Montana project. It was delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange in January 2018, and re-listed on the TSX-Venture.Gold cyanidation in Romania
Gold cyanidation in Romania was used for decades, but the process came into debate following the 2000 Baia Mare cyanide spill and proposal of the Roșia Montană Project, which would create the largest operation for gold extraction using cyanides in Europe.Gârda
Gârda may refer to:
Gârda de Sus, a commune in Alba County, Romania
Gârda Seacă, a village in Gârda de Sus Commune, Alba County, Romania
Gârda-Bărbulești, a village in Roșia Montană Commune, Alba County, Romania
Gârda Seacă River, a tributary of the Arieşul Mare River in RomaniaList of World Heritage sites in Romania
UNESCO has so far inscribed on to the list of World Heritage sites a total of eight sites in Romania, one of which is shared.List of environmental protests
This is a list of notable environmental protests and campaigns:
2010 Xinfa aluminum plant protest
Camp for Climate Action
Campaign against Climate Change
Earth Day (continuing from 1970)
Global Day of Action
Hands off our Forest
Homes before Roads
Kupa Piti Kungka Tjuta
Love Canal protests
March Against Monsanto
March for Science (2017)
March for Science Portland
Nevada Desert Experience
People's Climate March (2014)
People's Climate March (2017)
Roșia Montană protests
Save Manapouri Campaign
Say Yes demonstrations
School strike for climate
Stop Climate Chaos
Standing Rock Indian Reservation vs. DAPLMine Your Own Business
Mine Your Own Business is a 2006 documentary film directed and produced by Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney about the Roșia Montană mining project, funded by a grant from Gabriel Resources, the foreign company behind the mining effort. The film documents environmentalists' opposition to the mine as unsympathetic to the needs and desires of the locals, prevents industrial progress, and consequently locks the people of the area into lives of poverty. The film claims that the majority of the people of the village support the mine, and places it as the only possible investment in their hometown. The film presents foreign environmentalists as alien agents opposed to progress, while residents are depicted as eagerly awaiting the new opportunity. Criticism of the foreign mining companies, and the long term economic impacts of rural mining, positive and negative, are absent. The film leverages anecdotal interviews from residents desperate for change and avoids any serious studies about historical effects of the mining industry on small communities.Mining industry of Romania
Romania ranks tenth in the world in terms of the diversity of minerals produced in the country. Around 60 different minerals are currently produced in Romania. The richest mineral deposits in the country are halite (sodium chloride).
Romania is an oil producer, but the level of production is not enough to make the country self-sufficient. As a result, it is a net oil and gas importer.
The pipeline network in Romania included 1,738 km for crude oil, 2,321 km for petroleum products, and 708 km for natural gas in 1999. Several major new pipelines are planned, especially the Nabucco Pipeline for Caspian oilfields, the longest one in the world.
According to the CIA World Factbook, other natural resources include coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, uranium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestine (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower. In Roșia Montană area is the largest gold deposit in continental Europe, estimated at over 300 tons of gold and 1,600 tons of silver, having a value of $3 billion.Romania's mineral production is adequate to supply its manufacturing output. Energy needs are also met by importing bituminous and anthracite coal and crude petroleum. In 2007 approximately 13.4 million tons of anthracite coal, approximately 4,000 tons of tungsten, 565,000 tons of iron ore, and 47,000 tons of zinc ore were mined. Lesser amounts of copper, lead, molybdenum, gold, silver, kaolin, and fluorite also were mined.
In 2016, Gabriel Resources launched arbitration and disclosed it sought $4.4 billion worth of damages from Romania at the World Bank. It accuses Romania of unfairly blocking the company's $2 billion project creating one of the continent's largest gold mines. The government then served the Canadian company with a $8.6 million taxes bill.Roșia Montană (river)
The Roșia Montană is a right tributary of the river Abrud in Romania. It discharges into the Abrud in Cărpiniș.Roșia Montană Project
Roșia Montană Project is a gold and silver mining project initiated by Roșia Montană Gold Corporation in Roşia Montană, Romania. If approved, it would become Europe's largest open-pit gold mine and it would use the gold cyanidation mining technique. Currently, the project is on-hold awaiting a parliamentary decision.
The benefits of the state consist of 20% of the shares owned by the publicly owned company Minvest Deva and the 6% royalties of the gold and silver extracted not taking into consideration other valuable metals such as Wolfram, Uranium, Tellurium, Germanium, Titanium, Molybdenum, Vanadium, Nickel, Chrome, Cobalt, Gallium, Bismuth, Arsenic or the Potassium-Feldspar. a Romanian company established in 1997, in Alba County, based in Roșia Montană, whose shareholders are the State-owned mining company Minvest Deva - with 19.31%, Gabriel Resources – with 80.46% (listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (GBU symbol)) and other minority shareholders – with 0.23%.
The project met a significant resistance from environmental groups and from neighbouring European countries, culminating in the nationwide protests by thousands of people across the country since September 2013.
A number of locals refuse to sell their properties to the Roșia Montană Gold Corporation and, in order for the project to commence, the state would need to exercise eminent domain.Save Romania Union
The Save Romania Union (Romanian: Uniunea Salvați România, USR) is a political party in Romania. The party was founded following the success of the Save Bucharest Union (USB) party in the 2016 local elections. After being officially registered as a political party in 2016, it united with the local USB and Union for Codlea parties, thus gaining most of its initial membership base from the two latter parties. It is currently the third largest political party in the Romanian Parliament after the 2016 legislative elections and runs on an anti-corruption platform.StrawberryNet
StrawberryNet is a Romanian NGO network aimed at promoting "the protection of the environment, sustainable development, democracy and human rights" in Romania, using electronic telecommunication and ICT (information and communication technologies).
It is organized as a self-coordination body of NGOs providing or using information and communication services. It is, in legal terms, a foundation.
In the recent past (2003–04), StrawberryNet has been involved in supporting a website that gave a voice to mining-affected residents in a historic and picturesque Romanian village, some 400 km north of Bucharest.
Canada-headquartered Roșia Montană Gold Corporation was then planning to take to court the Alburnus Maior non-profit organisation, to prevent it from publishing its rosiamontana.org website.
Roșia Montană Gold Corporation had anticipated carrying out Europe's largest open-cast mining development in the area, even though it would mean the involuntary resettlement of over 2,000 persons, and the potential destruction of a unique archaeological and natural site.
For the villagers, the website gave a voice to tell the world about their opposition to mining. StrawberryNet took cover of an internet rights charter, to establish that the Canadian-Romanian mining corporation was violating the right to communicate and the freedom of expression and information exchange, by their act of suing the promoter of the site rosiamontana.org. Roșia Montană Gold Corporation is a joint-venture between Minvest, a Romanian, state-owned company and Gabriel Resources, a company registered in Toronto and, offshore, in Barbados and Jersey (the latter company was founded by serial entrepreneur and convicted heroin dealer Frank Timiş.)Zoltán Illés
Dr. Zoltán Illés (born 17 January 1961) is a Hungarian chemical engineer and politician from Vojvodina, Serbia, member of the National Assembly of Hungary (MP) for Terézváros, 6th District of Budapest (Budapest Constituency VIII) from 2010 to 2014. He also represented Terézváros between 1998 and 2002. He secured a seat from Fidesz National List in the 2002 Hungarian parliamentary election.He served as Chairman of the Committee on the Environment from 25 June 1998 to 14 May 2002. Illés was appointed Secretary of State for Environmental Protection and Water in the Ministry of Rural Development on 2 June 2010.In September 2013, Illés responded to a formal question from Bernadett Szél (LMP) about the Roșia Montană Project in Romania, where amongst other things he said "just because you’re pretty doesn’t also mean you’re smart," and lectured her for daring to utter the Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's name. Later, Illés has apologized for these remarks. House Speaker László Kövér has defended Illés' controversial comments in parliament, referring to his fellow Fidesz politician’s words as "offensive, but not flagrantly offensive."As environmentalist, he strongly criticized the planned upgrade of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, signed between the Hungarian and Russian governments in January 2014. As a result, he was unable to run as parliamentary candidate for the 2014 parliamentary election. Since then, Illés accused Orbán's government in several cases with corruption and development of oligarchic system.