From: Paul Wood 
Adrian Hamzescu 

Gabriel Resources, a Canadian company which intends to start gold mining in 
Rosia Montana, is to submit the necessary documentation to the Ministry of 
Environment and Waters Management (MMGA) by the end of the summer. 
The Canadian company has already started operations to obtain environmental 
approval for the biggest gold mine in Europe, declared Oyvind Hushovd, general 
manager of the company. Local authorities have received the first part of an 
environmental impact study, showing that the project will not affect the area 
but will reduce current pollution and create new jobs in an area with high 
unemployment. The environmental impact study will first be submitted to a 
public debate. "We hope we will receive the government's opinions by the middle 
of May," said Hushovd.  The minister of Environment and Waters Management, 
Sulfina Barbu, stated that the process to obtain the environmental approval 
will be a long one. The project was contested by ecologist and civil rights 
activists. Hungarian officials also protested against the gold mine 
exploitation. According to Gabriel Resources representatives, thousands of 
villagers will be relocated, a process which could last a long time due to 
property deeds, some issued at the beginning of the previous century. Currently 
87 percent of the deeds have been cleared, while only 43 percent of the land 
necessary for moving the inhabitants has been acquired. "We would like to see 
progress in the process of the environmental authorization before continuing 
acquisitions," declared Hushovd. According to a working group called "Save 
Rosia Montana ", economics and the environment are in conflict and the 
projected costs do not reflect environmental controls which will certainly be 
necessary unless the government takes the huge risk of flouting EU requirements 
whilst in the process of negotiating entry. 
The total direct benefits for Romania, as estimated by the company will be 583 
million USD, which will go to the local and central budget, stated Gabriel 
Resources' representatives. Referring to the historical locations, the mining 
company promised to preserve all the archaeological sites, which are currently 
deteriorating. The new mine, processing plant and tailings storage facility 
will be developed in accordance with all relevant Romanian laws and regulations 
and EU Directives, according to the company officials. The Rosia Montana area 
has been the most important gold producing province in Europe for over 2,000 
years. Gold production dates from the pre-Roman period, through the Roman 
occupation in AD 102. The most recent phase of development (from the 1950s to 
1989) was undertaken by the Romanian state during which extensive underground 
workings were carried out. 

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Then she'll be a true love of mine"

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