Romanians protesting in Bucharest last week against plans to open Europe’s biggest opencast gold mine. Photograph: Cristian Vasile/Save Rosia Montana Campaign
Romania indicated it would reject plans by a Canadian mining firm to create Europe‘s largest opencast gold mine, following week-long protests by thousands of people across the country.
On Monday, prime minister Victor Ponta said a draft bill to allow Canadian company, Gabriel Resources, to mine gold and silver at the Carpathian town, Rosia Montana, would be rejected by the two chambers of the Romanian parliament because a "majority of lawmakers" opposed it.
"That will be the end of this bill. I, as prime minister, have to find other solutions for foreign investments and the creation of jobs," he said. "As long as it is obvious that there is a majority opposed to the bill, it is useless to waste too much time on it."
Gabriel Resources said it would consider legal action against Romania. "Gabriel is urgently seeking confirmation of the actual statements made and clarification of the impact on the proposed permitting of the project. If the draft legislation is rejected then the company will assess all possible actions open to it, including the formal notification of its intentions to commence litigation for multiple breaches of international investment treaties," it said in a statement.
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