Dat fiind ca partea "introductiva" este destul de lunga, va sugerez sa
cititi direct interviul, din punctul marcat de mine cu +++


Rosia Montana - Alan Hill Interview - August 9, 2006 PAGE 1 - The interview
is public domain - Other sources noted where appropriate RE. ROSIA MONTANA -
Gold Mine CONTENTS Interview on August 9, 2006, with Mr. Alan Hill,
President and CEO of Gabriel Resources, Ltd. (Canada) as of April 2005. Mr.
Hill is also CEO of S.C. Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, S.A (Romania).
- Report on Environmental Impact Assessment Study, May 2006
- Rosia Montana Project: EIA Study Report (9. Non Technical Summary of the
EIA). Printed copy provided by RMGC / May 2006 (77 pages)
- Rosia Montana Project: Project Presentation Report / November 2004 (196
- Gabriel Resources Annual Reports: 1997-2005
- Mercury and Modern Gold Mining in Nevada - Final Report to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency Region IX by Greg Jones and Glenn Miller,
Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
- Newspaper stories (New York Times, Denver Post, Economist, and Romanian
- Multiple Internet sources
- FAQs re toxicity of Mercury:
A. From Chapter 6 - "Risk" (205 pages) of Rosia Montana EIA Report - The ore (Rosia Montana) - Mercury
C. From Alan Hill (August 14, 2006) via email:
Comments on 'Mercury' as follow-up to interview D. From: Mercury and Modern
Gold Mining in Nevada - Final Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency Region IX by Greg Jones and Glenn Miller, Dept. of Natural Resources
and Environmental Sciences (USA) Table D.4. Mercury Air Emissions from
Precious NV Metals Mines (in pounds) Facility, Point Source Emissions D.
>From Great Basin Mine Watch, Earthworks and Idaho Conservation League (USA)
(August 2006)
Dramatic Increases in 2005 Reported Mercury Air
Emissions at two (Newmont) Nevada Gold Mines E. From Barrick company (USA)
Efforts, To Date, In Voluntary Mercury Reduction Re. Rosia Montana / Gold
Mine (Romania)
F. From Earthworks (USA) website:
www.earthworksaction.org/Mercury.cfm Gold Mines are a Source of Mercury Air

 INTERVIEW - August 9, 2006 Interview with Mr. Alan Hill, President and CEO
of Gabriel Resources, Ltd. (Canada) as of April 2005. Mr. Hill is also CEO
of S.C. Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, S.A (Romania) which is 80% owned by
Gabriel Resources. RMGC acquired mining rights from a Romanian company and
filed an Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) with the Romanian government in
May of 2006.
Environmental Impact Assessment (as reported by Gabriel July 2006) - The EIA
was completed by an independent team of specialists and submitted to the
Romanian Government in early May 2006.
- The Government announced in early June the Romanian public consultation
meetings schedule, with 14 meetings beginning July 24th and ending August
- The Company will participate in at least one Hungarian public meeting
following the completion of the Romanian meetings in August, as required
under the Espoo Convention. The Hungarian meetings are currently being
- The EIA and the public meeting schedule are available on our web site.
- Questions and comments received during the public consultation period,
will be collected and reviewed by the Ministry of Environment and Waters
Management. The Ministry then refers to the Company all questions and
comments judged to require a response, which is published as an Annex to the
EIA. The Romanian Government makes the final determination on EIA approval,
which we expect in the fourth quarter of 2006.
- The Alba Iulia Court of Appeal dismissed in early July the application
submitted by Alburnus Maior to suspend the assessment process for the EIA
for the Rosia Montana project.
This interview was initiated by a representative of Mr. Hill and accepted by
Dan Dimancescu. The latter, acting as a private citizen, has been critical
of certain significant aspects of the project. Mr. Dimancescu has not
visited the site and his comments are based on what the public record states
as well as on information supplied by Gabriel/Rosia Montana. He has not met
any of the Romanian principals involved in active opposition to the proposed
gold mining project. As a condition of meeting, Mr. Dimancescu requested
that the meeting be recorded and that any parts or all of the discussion be
on the record. This was accepted by Mr. Hill with one exception on the
subject of worker wages that was considered confidential to the firm.

 The interview took place for 90 minutes on August 9, 2006, at a breakfast
hosted by Mr. Hill. Three other individuals attended the meeting: one a
contractual public relations employee of RMGC, one a guest of his, and one a
guest of Mr. Dimancescu. Background documents accessed by Mr. Dimancescu
from publicly accessible sources prior to his interview included:
- Rosia Montana Project: EIA Study Report (9. Non Technical Summary of the
Printed copy provided by RMGC / May 2006 (77 pages)
- Rosia Montana Project: Project Presentation Report / November 2004 (196
- Gabriel Resources Annual Reports: 1997-2005 Rosia Montana - Alan Hill
Interview - August 9, 2006

- Mercury and Modern Gold Mining in Nevada - Final Report to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency Region IX by Greg Jones and Glenn Miller,
Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
- Newspaper stories (New York Times, Denver Post, Economist, and Romanian
- Multiple Internet sources
- FAQs re toxicity of Mercury:
The interview follows with edits to smooth the flow.
The original interview is available on request.


 August 9 / Hilton Hotel 8:00 - 9:00 am
DD. Whatever my observations are I am making them as a private citizen. I
want to make it clear I don't represent anyone other than myself on this
DD. It is much appreciated that you spent the time talking about this
project. The reason to talk about it obviously is that it is controversial.
I'm sure I can learn by having the facts. One thing that has interested me -
and I've read some of the recent speeches you wrote - is the actual
structure of Gabriel. It is confusing to a lot of people. Could you share
your view of what the structure of Gabriel Resources Limited is and the
ownership under it thinking backwards to the origins of the company.
AH. It's a completely different animal now. We have a free market company
now. We have no ties to any of those notorious people of the past.
DD. I'm talking about the structure of the company.
AH. From a structure point of view they were instrumental in getting the
primary shareholders. DD. Of Gabriel Limited?
AH. Right. And then you go through Barbados. That's just a standard
procedure with North American companies working off-shore. There's nothing
sinister about it whatsoever.
DD. I'm not implying that. I'm just curious to know that the actual
structure is.
AH. It's a 100% Gabriel Barbados and that holds the 80% position in Rosia
DD. If I looked back at the Annual Report [Note: a page from the 1999 report
was discussed] if you look at the names just to clear the air a bit so that
I'm intelligent in talking about the company, what's happened to all of
these [entities controlled by Gabriel: Gabriel Jersey, Euro Gold, Castle
Europa, Deva Gold]?
AH. Gone. I'll clarify that with legal counsel. We hold an 80% position in
Rosia Montana. I don't remember the name but we hold a secondary one 100%...
It's a company, I cannot remember the name of it. I'll get it for you.
DD. OK. This is one of those things that if you don't see the structure it's
hard to know...
AH. Gabriel Barbados, we come down to 80% here ... Rosia Montana. Another 80
% in a lab. There another 100% ownership here for exploration related to
DD. Under Gabriel Ltd not Rosia Montana?
AH. That's right.
DD. These names [Gabriel Jersey, Euro Gold, Castle Europa, Deva Gold] to the
best of your knowledge have disappeared?
AH. Castle Europa I've never heard of.
DD. That's part of the early structure.
AH. Deva Gold. We do not have a position in Deva Gold now.
DD. The reason I'm asking this from someone looking from the outside - these
structures look confusing when one talks about the credibility of a company.
I'm not making any allegations. The credibility has been put into question
because of the origins of the company.
AH. If we were to just address our remarks at the 80% position that we have
in Rosia Montana that would be ...
DD. In a speech you gave recently you made a very categorical comment about
one of the people talked about, Frank Timis. You said that he fired from the
Board 2 1/2 yrs ago maybe longer. You said he had nothing to do with
Gabriel. Does he have anything to do with some of these other entities?
AH. I can't answer that.
AH. There is no connection with Gabriel Resources.
DD. Gabriel Resources Ltd?
AH. He might ... for all intents or purposes be a shareholder just as you or
I could buy a share. He has no connection with us.... I've made sure we've
closed down all his contracts. There is no connection with corporate down to
Rosia Montana Gold. None.
DD. Why was he fired?
AH. Was it something to do with drugs?
DD. I don't know?
AH. I think that the history here is that in 2003 they went back to the
market to raise some capital and they went through a background research and
they found that he had a criminal record. You can't be a director of any
company in Canada.
DD. That was only discovered in 2003?
AH. I guess so.
DD. My understanding is that was known for a long time about his criminal
AH. It was not known within the company ... and he didn't declare it ...
When I join a company board, I have to declare a criminal record. I have to
declare anything and everything but the color of my underwear.
DD. And then the other person who is in print and in the news is Ovidiu
Tender. What is his relationship?
AH. None. None I am aware of whatsoever.
DD. With these other entities maybe?
AH. Nothing to do with us.
DD. You don't have to answer this question. Do you have a sense that money
that came into the company had strange origins?
AH. I don't know. I can't answer that. I can answer where we got all our
money from and that went through brokerages starting out in Vancouver. I
don't know the names. I can give you the amounts. You wanted names of
DD. Was Albion still involved with you in being a broker?
AH. Albion?
DD. Yes, as a brokerage house?
AH. The brokerages houses we have now are the top ones in Canada [names
DD. But not Albion? Albion was owned by Timis. His own brokerage. You can
understand why that would be a sensitive issue?
AH. I understand. I want to clear up that we have no connection whatsoever.
DD. It's a serious concern because there's a serious checkered history.
AH. I don't how much you know about Timis but a few months ago didn't he do
the Regal Petroleum deal?
DD. He's involved in a lot of deals. I think Tender is.
AH. No, no. Where are we - what day are we? I think it was about February or
March. He was in control of - president or ceo - of a London-based company
called Regal Petroleum that had some sort of assets - property in Greece. My
understanding is that the stock went from 5 pounds then dropped several days
later .... [ more ...]
DD. A lot of money has been spent [by Rosia Montana] - a number that around
is $160 million in the last few years. The source of that money is what?
AH. I'll give you the source.
DD. It's partly answered in talking about Timis and Tender.
AH. The sources all come from Canadian markets not American markets. I'll
get it for you.
DD. I'm less concerned about the monies coming in now than the monies that
came in at the start. One reason people are concerned about the identity and
credibility has to do with these two individuals we talked about and the
source of their money.
AH. Right.
DD. It was never clear where there money was coming from. It was all managed
by Timis through his own brokerage firm.
AH. When Timis was 'uncovered', the company spent about $2 million on a
forensic review and everything was above board. I can't answer whether Timis
gave anything under the table.
DD. It's not what he gave it's where he got it from.
AH. I don't know.
DD. If you go one layer above Gabriel Resources and ownership that has
changed recently.
AH. It's forever changing.
DD. It's significantly changed with Newmont coming.
AH. That's right.
DD. Should that be represented in these documents [Ref to EIA Summary
Report] that you have a new ownership structure with an entity that is a
pretty significant player worldwide?
AH. I don't know. With the EIA in Romania I don't know how that goes back to
the ownership? But I've got no problem declaring it.
DD. Your website and annual reports show it. But it is not in the public
domain that Newmont is ...
AH. It's 20 per cent in December of 2006. We'd already written the EIA by
then. Before that there were at 10 per cent. In November 2004 the Company
was looking for money they got Newmont on board with 10 per cent of stock
for $30 million or 15 million shares and warrants for another 10 per cent.
They exercised that last December and put another $30 million in.
DD. And last week another $5.
AH. In 2004 they had a confidentiality agreement that allowed access to the
data - anything and everything we had. In that agreement they had an
opportunity to exercise those warrants or 20 per cent of stock issued.
I went on the market last week and raised $25 million so they had an
opportunity to take 20 per cent of it. There's just keeping to their 20 per
DD. Their December money was critical to Gabriel. You were running our of
There's now - you've cleaned the path - and you've got a new partner, a deep
pockets partner which is Newmont.
AH. I can't go to them for money. They are treated as a normal shareholder.
If I could I'd take them off. I don't want them. The best way to create
shareholder value is for me to build the mines myself.
DD. But they don't come in a neutral party. They have a vested interest.
They've put a lot of money in.
AH. Yes.
DD. That money doesn't stay silent in the real world.
AH. Maybe not I don't know.
DD. Not when you've put that much money in.
AH. Look it's Newmont debt (?) it's not Newmont Mining - whether there's any
difference I don't know. But they're in there. They're in the market to make
money or to buy properties or both. I can't answer for them. But when I've
spoken to their senior people ... when the stock has appreciated enough they
would sell and take a profit. They are not on the Board. There not treated
any differently than you.
DD. The August 1 [06] news release states in fine print that they have no
AH. That's right. They don't.
DD. Your industry is large, serious worldwide. Why do you think it has such
a bad reputation as reported in the public press?
AH. The mining industry?
DD. The gold mining industry?
AH. I don't think it does. I think the press has the wrong end of the stick.
DD. When the New York Times, Denver Post, others Indonesian papers, African
papers, write about gold mining it doesn't come out [looking good]... Do you
think the press is wrong in representing the gold mining industry? What we
are reading in the press in the NYTimes about Indonesia, Denver Post about
Nevada [State] ...
AH. What about Nevada?
DD. There's an enormous amount written about Nevada operations - US
companies. Newmont, others. It's extensive.
AH. Maybe if you do research on what's right or good [from] gold mining ...
DD. You're very effective in doing that with your company. You're presenting
a very nice picture. But I'm asking why the press is seeing such a negative
AH. The press wants to pick up properly on that - they don't ... for
instance... at Elko, Nevada, a town I was very much involved in, there is as
a subdivision of houses. Voted the best little town in America two or three
on the run. That says a lot for the industry. A lot of time spent
cultivating a nice place to live... Then - the Indonesian issue with Newmont
was fanned by a family that got a tremendous amount of press. The same thing
happened in Tanzania.
DD. The press coverage is less about who is making money legally or
illegally, it's more about the environmental good citizenship of gold mining
companies. That's put into question worldwide. I'm asking whether they are
correct in doing this? With Indonesia there are serious reports about
Mercury pollution in the bay and in the air. Those are not correct?
AH. I can't answer whether it is correct or not. But the people who got
Mercury poisoning was a family that was a scam.
DD. So you don't think there was Mercury put into the bay?
AH. I'm not going to answer for that. I know that my [best builders ?] have
won environmental awards. Let's look at it that way.
DD. I'm not asking you to justify that particular mine in another country,
I'm saying that there has been significant bad press that puts the industry
into question at least to someone from the outside looking in. It's not an
'off the wall' question when the NYTimes and Denver Post report the stories
they do, you take it seriously. Is that a correct view of the world?
AH. No it's not.
DD. So if I went to the NYTimes and said that so and so from such and such
company doesn't think you're reporting ...
AH. No - you've got to look at what good it's doing. Go and check it out.
DD. I apologize I'm not an expert on mining or gold mining but when you read
the press and the one issue of Mercury and then look at the [Gabriel] EIA
Summary Report you don't see the word Mercury mentioned. Is there a reason
for that?
AH. No. Not in the summary document. I can't answer for that. We do produce
Mercury it's standard practice.
DD. I know you produce it. But one of the big concerns about Nevada mining -
which is America's major source of gold - and the Indonesian case was an
American company [Newmont] and there are others, is that Mercury has been a
serious pollutant.
AH. The Mercury that is present in Rosia Montana is Mercury that is present
in the soil that is a hang-over from past mining practices.
DD. So there would be no future Mercury issues?
AH. If we are going to mine the soil, we will take the Mercury and clean out
the soil, clean up the air and clean up the rock ... [unclear].
DD. I'm reading things that say that Mercury is a serious problem.
AH. It is a serious problem. If the gold mining industry has got a bad
reputation it is from the illegal mining. What happens is they use the
Mercury to extract the gold then they burn off the Mercury and that
evaporates and spreads all over. [Next comment re Rosia Montana and Mercury
not clear]
DD. You have a picture here [EIA Report] of the production process.
AH. Right.
DD. Apparently there is step called 'roasting' which I don't see here. Is
there not roasting at Rosia Montana?
AH. No. There is no roasting. What we do is we liquify - the gold is
deposited on steel wool and that's where the Mercury is given off - we
collect it - actually we do it before hand. But we collect all the Mercury.
DD. So if I was a layman saying "Mercury is an issue"
AH. Mercury is not an issue for us. Mercury is an issue in that it is around
the countryside ... now ...
DD. Of course, it is a natural product.
AH. No, no it is a by-product of past mining.
DD. But you can find it in a lot of different places.
AH. Not in the concentrations you might see ...
DD. Not in same concentrations but it occurs naturally. That's not my
question. My question is that in the press that I'm reading, Mercury has
become a significant issue and in the Indonesian case a very significant one
partly because of the dumping into the bay, partly the evaporation or as a
by-product of the 'roasting' process - and started by saying the word
roasting does not appear which appears to be an industry term so you've
obviously eliminated that term. And roasting is considered significant
because of the pollutants go into the air which are very hard to recover.
AH. My understanding is that is very little Mercury in the rock ore itself.
DD. Your are saying it is your 'understanding'.
AH. It might be trace amounts. We would have to collect that obviously.
DD. But you've spent four years looking at these steps.
AH. Those are fine details here. If you want I'll bring in [not clear] ...
there is some amount of Mercury present that is collected in a Mercury
DD. Mercury is an issue in these other plants as reported in the press
because of the roasting, and from liquid surfaces apparently from
evaporation, and it filters into the ground. There are three sources of
pollutants from Mercury ...
AH. The plant that Newmont built they have a Mercury [retort?] to take out
the Mercury . They heat up the steel wool and gold to the point when the
Mercury is given off ... that is correct in the Newmont plant. There is a
very, very strict limit on that. Obviously. Mercury is not an issue coming
out of a modern gold mine.
DD. Would the mines in Nevada be 'not' modern?
AH. The mines in Nevada have not got a Mercury problem.
DD. Not from what I'm reading. The EPA [US Environmental protection Agency]
has a huge report on the pollutants from Nevada mining that are Mercury
related. I'll give you a sheet here [see attachment].
I was kind of shocked at Mercury emissions in Nevada.
AH. Right ... and they are probably within limits. [Ed: note the industry is
loosely controlled in Nevada]
DD. Four Nevada companies reported releasing 12,000 pounds of Mercury and
Mercury compounds from point source stack emission - Mercury is not a
friendly material. My focus here is Mercury because I didn't see it
mentioned in your document [Rosia Montana EIA Summary report]. What does
Romania or EU law require from a gold mining operation when it comes to
AH. I will get back to you. And am not going to answer that now. But when I
came in here I set the principle that we are not going to ask for any relief
from any act.
DD. I was surprised that Mercury wasn't mentioned anywhere in the
environmental impact [Summary Report] when Mercury is considered as a severe
pollutant as a by-product of gold mining worldwide - and particularly in
Nevada which is EPA monitored. The [EIA Summary] document is circulated to
the public right now as part of the inquiry and there is not a single word.
AH. I'll get back to you on that.
DD. I would consider that to be an issue.
DD. ... a relevant issue for an outsider trying to determine ...
AH. That's fine. That's an issue. If it not well defined in the more
detailed report. The idea of the EIA is to find any holes and to patch those
holes. That is a hole and we will patch it.
DD. That will take several weeks to do it.
AH. No. That is not right. That is not right. You asked a question about
Mercury then ask a question about Mercury. We have to respond to that and we
have to patch the hole. And the question has been asked about Mercury in the
public consultation. If there is a hole there we will patch it up in the
weeks after the public consultation is finished. We want full compliance in
everything. I don't want to ask for relief on anything.
DD. I'm not contesting you on that. I believe you. But
AH. If there's a hole in Mercury, there's a hole. I mean we have to go
through a tremendous amount of hoops to get our permits.
DD. The reason I raise this is that it is just not an insignificant subject
and you are in the middle of public hearings...
AH. Right
DD. ...which will end in three weeks and the word Mercury does not seem to
be part of the conversation.
AH. Go back and look at the dialogue in the public consultation.
DD. OK. But here is Denver-based Newmont Mining Corporation the world's
largest gold producer releasing 17 tons of toxic Mercury vapor in the air in
Indonesia and the New York Times reporting that 33 tons of Mercury were
AH. Where are those numbers from?
DD. New York Times and Denver Post.
AH. OK. I'm sure they are true.
DD. You can contest them if you want. But I'll call the Times to confirm it.
AH. You don't talk to the Times, you talk to the regulators in Indonesia.
Where do the numbers come from?
DD. Well the regulators are apparently talking to the NYTimes.
AH. Let's have a look. I'm here to answer what I want to do. I want to build
a model mine here. If gold mining is behaving after this, I will have done
my job properly.
DD. The famous polluted area - which maybe you've driven through - which can
be seen from a satellite which is Copsa Mica where there is a zinc smelter,
nothing to do with gold mining, but one of the issues there which has caused
enormous damage to the ground and people was heavy metal. It would be a
legitimate concern for anyone in the vicinity of Rosia Montana to be
concerned about heavy metals and I was surprised that wasn't a major heading
here [EIA Summary Report].
AH. What we do is capture all the air, clean all the air and take the
residue and put it into a Mercury flask or whatever.
DD. They do that in Nevada too. Are you saying that what's going on in this
plant will be more advanced than what's going on in Nevada?
AH. We will be more compliant, that's for sure.
DD. But we don't know what the compliance requirements are for Mercury.
AH. We will find out. The Ministry has to give us that.
DD. I think that the EU would have already.
AH. I can get them for you.
DD. I'm not a technical person - but the question is why is the press so
negative about the industry and one reason is that one of the serious
by-product of gold mining is Mercury through vaporized Mercury or into
waterways and bays and that has raised a lot of questions about the
credibility of the industry. And I raise that because you now have a partner
[Newmont Mining], a 20 per cent partner or investor passive or active, who
is considered one of the critical polluters when it comes to Mercury.
AH. Right.
DD. So I would think that a citizen just saying who are these people coming
to the gold mining of Romania, they come with a checkered reputation.
AH. [looking over list of Nevada mining companies] They all roast full ores
which means they have vast quantities of gas. We've taken a little bit like
that and we can control the gases. If you look at ... grinding wheel here
... then to a big melter ... vast quantities of air coming up so they've got
scrubbers at the top ... [description with graphics of process] ... volumes
of air come out. You can control it, capture it and take the Mercury out.
When we get our permit, they will tell us what our limits are. We will
design around that. If Mercury is not in there then that is a slip and we
will put it in. It might be in the more detailed stuff. If there is one
thing you can take away from this, I want to make this a model mine.
DD. I circled that in your speech because it's an important point.
AH. If I do my job properly, the gold mining industry is going to hate me.
DD. In your speech you mentioned other by-products such a zinc, cadmium,
iron, arsenic, you didn't mention Mercury.
AH. I don't know if there is Mercury going into that stream at this moment.
DD. That would be critical to know for this industry which is know to be a
Mercury polluter. It's the industry I'm talking about not you as an
individual. Do you know of gold mines where there is no Mercury?
AH. You have to know how soluble the Mercury is. There are differences of
content of Mercury within the ore. I can't give you the answers - tonight if
you wish.
DD. I focused on this issue because it seems to be a headliner worldwide for
this industry and Newmont does not come with the best of reputations.
DD. Some people have raised questions about the tailing pond and the absence
of a liner.
AH. There's a natural liner to it.
DD. What is it?
AH. ... probably better than. Very little ground water. This is part of the
consultation. Let's leave it at that. It's compliant.
DD. A question about the economics which interest me personally from a
larger (national) point of view. You have been looking at the environmental
effects probably from what I would say is the 'narrow' view on Romania -
meaning the local community - when in fact the impact may be far larger. If
one looked at the larger picture one of the impacts that needs to be
understood better by the public is the economic impact.
Could you characterize what you believe the economic impact on Romania is -
I already have what has been put into writing: 500 jobs, 3000 secondary and
$1.5 billion in 15 or 20 years. can you enlarge on that a bit. It's all kind
of vague ... is there something more substantive to the economic impact?
AH. Yes there is. I don't know if it's in the public domain at the moment.
First lets look at the investment. Its $640 million looking forward. Of that
$100-150 will be sourced oversees (equipment, rolling stock, trucks,
milling). $500 million net per year direct into Rosia Montana / Romania. It
comprises salaries, construction, concrete, steel, all supplies during the
construction period. Transportation. Warehousing, IT.
DD. I'm very interested in the national economic impact and would find
useful a breakdown. Taxes to the local community are trivial.
AH. I'll get it to you.
DD. This is clearly a macro national asset and looking for the multiplier
effect is interesting. My question within that is not meant to be
controversial but is a realistic one. This is not a high-value added
industry in terms of labor. You are not hiring university graduates to dig
holes in the ground. Let's take these 1200 (construction period) people I
would assume are in large part manual labor or technical meaning truck
drivers, machine operators.
AH. That's right.
DD. Do you have a sense of that the average wage would be? Take home wage.
AH. I can't give you that for several reasons. The average salary in Romania
now is about USD $300 per month net to the worker.
DD. We're talking USD $300 average wage.
AH. Here we are. According to the National Institute of Statistics in May
2006 average Romanian gross salary was 1,109 RON (Note: RON 2.90
exchange/dollar in Aug 2006) or about $390. We have talked about wages for
the 690 employees, I don't know where the 500 number came from, at ... [the
actual number is confidential] ... a much higher wage rate for costing
DD. You are saying a significantly better wage than the national average.
AH. Yes. That's what is in our operating costs. That runs in line with the
mining industry at large.
DD. OK. Now this a larger economic question. These are not high value added
job even if they are paid higher than the average. Correct? What is the
benefit to Romania from this kind of activity when it comes to the actual
workers who are involved? They will get this pay for 10 or 15 years then you
guys are gone.
AH. It brings it all to spending power doesn't it?
DD. That's what I'm curious to know. Where do you get your multiplier
AH. What we are using is a Canadian - North American number.
DD. OK. Would that be valid worldwide?
AH. No. The multiplier is much larger in underdeveloped countries.
DD. So why are miners in third world countries complaining about wages in
the gold mining industry including the Anaconda people who are on strike now
but not a gold mine.
AH. Wherever I've been the gold mining industry pays better than most.
DD. You're talking about hiring about 500 and said that's an incorrect
number, 700 is closer. This is people physically employed after the
construction phase.
AH. Absolutely.
DD. And for what period of time. Is it fifteen years?
AH. Yes.
DD. Is that considered a great asset to a country to have just fifteen years
of 500 jobs - many low-paid jobs.
AH. Yes, I think so. Look at it as the start of building a new mining
industry and maybe there's another deposit nearby that could be mined. We're
in the golden quadrilateral. I would like very much to build to build a
Romanian-based mining company. Romania has wonderful resources and is
entering Europe. I cannot think of a better place to invest.
DD. The reason I ask is that the public record suggests there are only a
15-16 year before the resource is depleted.
AH. That's right.
DD. That's a fairly short window for a national economy to look at a natural
AH. Why do you pick on the gold industry for that. Why don't you pick on
something like the textile industry. Low paid jobs ... [unclear]
DD. There are about 450,000 jobs like that in Romania. They'll last 3-4
years and then move on.
AH. That's right.
DD. The more intelligent part of the industry is creating a higher value
adding capability. Offering design services for example.
AH. Put me in the more intelligent part of the industry wanting to build a
mining industry here.
DD. I appreciate that. The public record for this activity (RM) is a fairly
short-term one for a national economy. You compare it to oil which has been
in Romania for over one hundred years and maybe around for another 25 years.
AH. That's a very severe way of looking at it.
DD. The controversial part of this question has to do with how you present
the revenue stream from this activity to investors.
[Lost section due to tape changes - subject moved to community benefits
SUMMARY: There will be a construction phase investment and then
exploitation. About 85% of cumulative profits will be returned to investors
and about 15% to the State.] DD. You have a Foundation to implement the CSDP
[Community Sustainable Development Programme] which is intended in the words
of this document [EIA Summary] to be an effective - I'm not sure what the
effective means - and appropriate voice for the Community. It's not clear
that it has any authority. It's just an entity.
AH. No. No. It's an entity that will have three aspects to it. It will help
the cultural side which will look after all the archaeology, the museum and
everything else. This is set up as a foundation that will be funded until
the mine closes.
DD. Is it funded?
AH. It will be funded. It's in the budget.
DD. Is there a number I could look for?
AH. There's no number now.
DD. Why not, it seems to be a pretty significant player?
AH. It's in our operating costs.
DD. Why would it not be public? This is your entity for representing the
Community but it has no budget. And, it's supposed to be the spokesman for
the Community to "provide effective representation in all aspects of
interaction with the mining companies" [p. 58 of EIA Summary]. You need to
have resources and authority to be effective but if it's controlled by the
Company how can it be effective?
AH. It will have resources and authority. It will be an independent
DD. But you are not making public the budget. Why not?
AH. We haven't completed the Foundation. This should be completed by the end
of the year.
DD. What if you said you were going to devote a fraction of a percent of
your operating budget to do it, wouldn't that be an interesting commitment?
AH. Yes, we could do it that way around.
DD. When I read this I thought this is beautiful 'sustainability' language
but it's hollow because you've created an entity without a budget and no
AH. Can I turn this off for a minute.
[tape off for short comment]
DD. I don't mean to be pejorative about the profession called public
relations profession but I consider this [EIA Summary] to be a public
relations statement because it has no substance to it. You are creating an
entity. For the public record, which this is, to provide minimum in trying
to understand where you are going and what the contribution to the Community
is. This commitment rings hollow to me.
DD. I'm obviously missing something in reading it. Substance would mean
'authority' independent of the Company and a budget to be able to survive.
That's not clear from reading the document.
AH. I know. We are working with the World Bank ... well, with some of the
international players to make this independent.
DD. ... RMGC [Rosia Montana Gold Company] would like the Foundation to be
the "vehicle that manages a majority of the initiatives concerned with the
CSDP and will work with it and the community to prepare for a future beyond
AH. That's right.
DD. I consider that statement to be very significant as a corporate
responsibility statement.
AH. Right.
DD. ... but it's hollow because there is no substance to it. I call that a
p.r. statement.
DD. These would be reasons why there might be issues in trying to understand
what you are doing. I appreciate the goodwill that you are bringing to the
table. But these are the kinds of things that do raise questions.
AH. They are great questions and will answer the questions. But I don't know
where they lie in the permitting process.
DD. Well it's in your Environmental Impact Statement. You're making a strong
statement about sustainable development which is the economic impact.
AH. Right. Economical development is something which we cannot define at the
DD. But you can fund the process.
AH. OK, we could fund the process and maybe put in there what the sort of
funding is.
DD. That's your problem but it would be one reason why one might be critical
about this statement.
AH. In the early days the Foundation's board will be Gabriel people and then
we will have extra people in it. But as soon as we could make this
independent we will do it. It's got a business incubator, a business
advisory group, a micro bank. We've got to capitalize that. Education and
training. Accommodation and tourism.
DD. That's an organization chart and I appreciate that. Just on this issue
of what's in print in this statement
AH. It's inadequate, I know.
DD. I appreciate your candor here. It's very helpful. We've raised three
categories of questions here today. One is the structural question. There's
the environmental one with the focus here on the 'industry' Mercury issue...
AH. We have issues that you haven't touched on such as bonding. We have the
Foundation for instance. I want to tie down so there is no wiggle room on
the 'goodness' we've set up. Obviously we want permitting and that's with
the State. Foundation. Bonding. They will inherit what I set up without
changes. I won't be here to see the end that's for sure.
DD. We're both of an age where we won't be around very long... you may be
younger. But this is not something that any one individual can guarantee.
AH. No.
DD. ... because circumstances go beyond ...
AH. Now, I would like to sit down with the opposition and work out what we
can do. To make sure that ... or with the government to make sure we can do
DD. One final generic question. How would you characterize the opposition on
this issue? Can you capsulize for the record your feeling?
AH. I'm disappointed that people won't sit down and constructively talk with
me. I find that the greatest disappointment. It find there's probably two
levels. One level that is actively opposing, this is not a happy exchange
for the mine [phrase not clear] but has an anti-globalization agenda. And
the other people who take from that do not sit down and talk with me. I
think that middle group ought to sit down with me, like you, to see what we
could do to generate a better property for Romania.
DD. How do you characterize the Romanian Academy's position on this?
AH. The Romanian Academy has commented on the EIA that was filed and hasn't
made a comment at the moment. I would like to sit down with Mr. Haiduc, I
met him in Cluj, and there will be a seminar that we have together sometime
soon. I applaud that.
DD. About the opposition with whom I have not had direct contact ... might
there not be a David Goliath situation that makes it tough to sit at a
AH. Not from my perspective.
DD. Not you personally but you're the biggest gold company in the world now
that you have Newmont in the game.
AH. No. no.
DD. These are the biggest players in the world which gives you a lot of
money for p.r. The opposition could feel they are put on the defensive
because they are in an unequal position. Isn't it David and Goliath
AH. Maybe in terms of money. But not in input.
DD. Can we end on that note.
AH. Sure.

A. From Chapter 6 - Risk (205 pages) of Rosia Montana EIA Report - See page
51 - The ore (Rosia Montana)
The ore that will be mined at Rosia Montana contains, apart from Au and Ag,
a number of metals including: Ca, Mg, Na, Cu, Hg, As, Pb, Zn, Fe, Mn etc. in
the form of : apatite, mixed Fe and Mn carbonate, muscovite, orthoclase,
pyrite, quartz and rutile. The specifics of the metal extraction process
involves the existence of the following hazardous substances and materials
on the site:
 __ Solid Sodium Cyanide and in 20% solution;
 __ Hydrochloric Acid 32 %
 __ Solid Sodium Hydroxide and in 20% solution;
 __ Cyanide containing slurry;
 __ Cyanide rich solution;
 __ Process water with cyanides;
 __ Technical Ammonium Nitrate;
 __ Sodium Hypochlorite solution;
 __ Lime (quicklime, slaked lime and lime wash);
 __ Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG);
 __ Gasoline
 __ Diesel;
 __ Compressed Oxygen;
 __ Sodium metabisulphite;
 __ Copper Sulfate
 __ Mercury;
 __ ARD Mercury Mercury is a heavy metal (molecular weight 200.61) liquid
at normal temperatures, releasing vapors at 20°(vapor pressure 0.012 mmHg),
boils at 365.58° and melts at -38.87°. In contact with moist air it oxidizes
easily forming a layer of mercurous oxide (Hg2O). Found in nature in the
form of Mercury sulfide (HgS), an ore known as cinnabar, from which it is
extracted at 500-600°. The resulting Mercury vapors condensate and release a
collateral product -SO2.
In some mines - as in Almaden (Spain), it is found in geodes as liquid
Mercury, and in Yugoslavian mines it is found impregnated in the shale. It
is widespread in soil and water in low concentrations ranging between
0.005-0.25 ppm.
B. From Alan Hill (August 14, 2006) via email to Dan Dimancescu:
Comments on Mercury as follow-up to interview
First, Mercury in general terms: As I suspected during the meeting the large
amounts noted in the table you gave me refer to roaster emissions from a
'whole-ore-roast'. Typically, amounts such as 20,000 tonnes per day are
taken to extremely high temperatures to oxidize the sulphide minerals in the
ore. Nothing anywhere near the same process or quantity is envisaged at
Rosia, as I will outline later. First let me digress into the issues of
these large roasters and smelters.
You can imagine that the roasting process of such a large tonnage will
demand high volumes of oxygen, air, to establish the oxidation process. As
you might expect the industry passes these exhaust fumes through a series of
cleaners and scrubbers, but I would suggest (I am not certain) that trace
Mercury in high Rosia Montana - volumes accumulates over the year to amount
to the 1,400 pounds noted in the table. The gold industry is looking to
reduce these poundages. [It is noteworthy that the Barrick roaster was
constructed after I ended any involvement with the Nevada property. I built
the first stage of the process plant during the period 1989-1993 and was
faced with the choice of installing a roaster or an autoclave: I selected
the latter since it is so much more environmental friendly - I will explain
the Barrick decision to add the roaster when we have that promised beer!]
Your comment of the image of the gold industry versus the mining industry at
large led me to 'google' Mercury emissions in other mineral processes: with
the conclusion that the gold industry is one of the lesser offenders. For
instance, Kennecott's copper smelter at Salt Lake emits 3,800 pounds of
Mercury up wind of the city: Sudbury nickel emits 1,800 pounds, but by far
the biggest emitter as a group is coal fired electrical power generation:
for example Ontario Hydro's units alone emit 1,400 pounds from cleaned
exhaust gases. Imagine the amount of Mercury emitted from the coal fired
plans in Romania, where exhaust gases basically go uncleaned and the quality
of Romania coal is lower (Sub-bituminous and high in sulphur content). Coal
fired generation accounts for 50% of Romania's electricity.
Now to Rosia Montana: there is Mercury present in the ore body and also on
surface (from past mining practices). The Mercury found in the streams,
lakes and soils at Rosia Montana is primarily from historical mining when
Mercury was used by the "old miners" to collect the gold in an amalgam from
the "stamp batteries" after panning. The Mercury was then burnt off
(smelted) to recover the gold. This process has left a lasting environmental
legacy in the region.
This Mercury is not from the Rosia Montana deposit.
The level of Mercury in the ore body is very low compared to the Nevada
deposits and a number of other epithermal gold deposits. The majority is
inert and will pass through the process plant unaffected. A portion will
however, become soluble in the process plant and it is this amount that is
collected in the flasks as noted in the EIA. The amounts are small. Unlike
the roasting process where huge tonnages are treated on a continuous basis,
Rosia Montana will treat about 5-10 kilos of material daily in a batch
process to recover its Mercury. It will be treated in a 'Mercury retort', a
0-3 cubic metre enclosed crucible which is heated to 600°C to volatilize the
Mercury. The gaseous Mercury is then captured in the subsequent high
efficiency scrubbers and filters which are designed specifically for this
Finally the level of detail you would require for this discussion will not
be found in the NTS but rather in the full document where the Mercury retort
is outlined and shown in circuit: the term smelting was used as an
abbreviation for a detailed circuit.
I hope this sufficient information for you, but if not please don't hesitate
to contact me.

C. From: Mercury and Modern Gold Mining in Nevada - Final Report to the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency Region IX by Greg Jones and Glenn Miller,
Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

 Table D.4. Mercury Air Emissions from Precious NV
Metals Mines (in pounds) Facility, Point Source Emissions 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003
Placer Bald Mountain 0 0 0 5 *
Barrick Goldstrike 1,500 1,400 1,467 1,243 1,287 1,438
Coeur Rochester 0 0 0 1 0 0
Cortez Joint Venture Pipeline 2,200 1,500 1,351 925 *
Echo Bay McCoy Cove (Newmont, 2003) 224 363 118 6
Florida Canyon Mine 2 1 1 1
Getchell 0 1 0 0
Glamis Marigold 4 0 1 0
Jerritt Canyon Joint Venture 9,400 9,400 6,700 7,990 4,740 790
Ken Snyder 11
Newmont Carlin North 3 3 2 3
Newmont Carlin South 53 71 80 490 513 550
Newmont Lone Tree 0 0 1 5 1 1
Newmont Rain 0 0 0
Newmont Twin Creeks 2,200 1,200 630 570 530 550
Ruby Hill 0 0 0 0
Smoky Valley Common 0 0 0
Total from Metal Mining (Point source-stack) 13,153 12,072 11,322 12,162
8,544 4269
Fugitive Nevada Total (from mining) 423 95 1,183 212 105 111 Nevada Total
(all industries, point and fugitive sources) 13,576 12,167 12,912 12,959
8,992 4,689 Toxics Release Inventory data, U.S. EPA, 9/14/2005) *This
differs from the TRI data slightly due to the Placer Domes finding that they
had recovered Mercury in a refinery baghouse, which reduced the amount of
Mercury previously reported on TRI data. This amount is reflected in the
totals at the bottom of the table.
D. From Great Basin Mine Watch, Earthworks and Idaho Conservation League
August 2006
Dramatic Increases in 2005 Reported Mercury Air Emissions at two Nevada Gold
According to recent information obtained from NDEP, two major gold mines in
northern Nevada have dramatically increased their reported Mercury air
emissions from 2004 to 2005.1 The Twin Creeks Mine has nearly doubled its
reported emissions, and the Gold Quarry mine has more than tripled its
reported emissions. Together the two mines reported more than 700 pounds
more Mercury in 2005 than 2004; the equivalent of nearly 3 average-sized
coal fire power plants. Total air emissions for the 2 mines in 2005 top
1,200 pounds.
According to company reports, the increases are, in part, the result of
testing mine units that were never previously tested. For example, the Twin
Creeks Mine tested its Juniper Mill and Solution Tanks for the first time in
2005, revealing Mercury air emissions of 142.79 pounds. Further increases
are the result of replacing outdated stack test results with new stack test
data when calculating air emissions. Air emissions are calculated by testing
the amount of Mercury emitted through the stack of a particular mine unit
(pounds per hour); and multiplying it by the numbers of hours the unit is in
operation. Prior to 2005, both companies were using 2001 stack test results
to calculate emissions each year, rather than conducting new stack tests
each year or multiple times a year to account for variations in Rosia
Montana - Alan Hill Interview - August 9, 2006 PAGE 1 - The interview is
public domain - Other sources noted where appropriate the Mercury content of
the ore and other factors. For example, Mercury emissions from the carbon
kilns and combustion stacks at the Gold Quarry Mine increased six-fold when
2005 stack test results were used to calculate 2005 emissions, and Mercury
emissions from the roasting circuit doubled when 2005 stack tests were
applied (see table below).
Similarly, Mercury missions from the Twin Creek autoclave more than doubled
when 1 Newmont Twin Creek and Gold Quarry (South Carlin) Response to NDEP
"Precious Metals Mining Mercury Air Emissions Questionnaire, March 2006."
Mercury Air Emissions (pounds)
New stack tests were conducted in 2005 and used to calculate 2005 Mercury
Considering the dramatic change in emissions data for 2001 and 2005, data
for the intervening years (2002-2004) are simply not credible, and likely
underestimate emissions. Although 2005 data is not available for other gold
mines in northern Nevada, a number of these mines have also used old stack
test results to calculate their emissions. Coeur Rochester used 1995 data
for its 2004 smelter furnace emissions calculations, and Glamis Gold used
2002 stack test results for its 2004 carbon kiln calculations.
NEWMONT: Twin Creeks Mine Reported Mercury Emissions for 2004 and 2005
2004 - 294 pounds
2005 - 563 pounds
a. Approximately the same amount of ore autoclaved each year, but 2004
estimated emissions were based on January 2001 stack test results of 0.0153
pounds per hour with 7878 hours of operation; 2005 estimated emissions were
based on October 2005 stack test results of 0.0368 pounds per hour with 7774
hours of operation.
b. Estimated emissions for both years still based on 2001 stack test
c. 2004 estimated emissions based on 2001 stack test results. 2005 estimated
emissions based on 2005 stack test results.
d. Mercury emissions from this source were not evaluated prior to October
NEWMONT: Gold Quarry Mine (Carlin South) Reported Mercury Air Emissions for
2004 and 2005 (in pounds)
2004 - 218 pounds
2005 - 658 pounds
Conclusion: Newmont's Twin Creek and Gold Quarry mines have dramatically
increased their reported Mercury air emissions from 2004 to 2005. The
increases are reportedly the result of testing mine units that were never
previously tested, and updating stack test data. The dramatic increase in
emissions indicates that these two mines have likely under-reported
emissions in previous years. Although other mines did not submit 2005
emissions data in response to the NDEP questionnaire, their 2004 emissions
data indicates that a number of mines also used outdated stack test results
and similarly did not provide emissions information for all mine units.
Consequently, it is likely that emissions from these mines are understated
as well.
It's clear that citizens and agencies have not been receiving accurate
emissions information. Unfortunately, the new Nevada mining regulations do
not address this fundamental problem because they continue to allow mining
companies to self-test and self-report, and they require just one stack test
a year.
Independent testing and reporting are essential if the public is to have
confidence in the integrity of the Mercury program. Furthermore, emissions
tests should be conducted on a monthly, rather than annual basis, to provide
data that appropriately reflects changes in Mercury ore content and other
E. From Barrick company (USA) website:
Efforts, To Date, In Voluntary Mercury Reduction In 2001, the USEPA and the
Nevada Division of Environmental Protection began a dialogue with major gold
mining companies that operate mines in Nevada, concerning Mercury emissions
controls. Rather than engage in a lengthy and costly rule-making process to
achieve Maximum Achievable Control Technology(MACT), all parties, including
Barrick agreed to a Voluntary Mercury Reduction Program (VMRP). The
voluntary program has achieved an overall reduction of about 70 percent in
Mercury emissions by the group of participating companies.
F. From Earthworks (USA) website:
Gold Mines are a Source of Mercury Air Pollution
. Gold mines are the fifth largest source of Mercury air emissions in the
U.S.. They produce fully 25% of all Mercury air emissions west of Texas.
. Yet there are no federal regulations requiring gold mines to control their
Mercury emissions.
Ore roaster at Gold Quarry mine, NV. Photo: EARTHWORKS Most Mercury
emissions come from gold mines in northern Nevada because these mines are
located in an area where gold ore also contains Mercury. The Mercury is
released into the air when the ore is heated during the gold extraction
process. Air emissions from these mines may travel great distances,
affecting states throughout the Intermountain
West. Serious Public Health Effects Mercury is considered the most dangerous
heavy metal because it is toxic to humans and moves freely through the
Mercury in the air eventually ends up in our nation's rivers and lakes, and
ultimately in the fish we eat. There is no method of cooking or cleaning
that will reduce the amount of Mercury in a meal. According to a 2005 study,
between 317,000 and 637,000 children born each year in the United States are
Rosia Montana  exposed in the womb to Mercury levels above the Environmental
Protection Agency's safety level. Children of women exposed to relatively
high levels of Mercury during pregnancy show delayed onset of walking and
talking, reduced neurological test scores, and delays and deficits in
learning ability. The study further states that diminished intelligence of
children exposed to Mercury contamination before birth costs the U.S.
economy $8.7 billion a year in lost productivity.
Harm to Fish and Water Resources Mercury in our nation's rivers, lakes and
streams are a particular problem because bacteria convert Mercury to
methlyMercury, an organic form that is toxic to living beings.
When methylMercury enters the food chain, it becomes progressively more
concentrated with each step up the food chain. So fish at the top of the
food chain -- predatory fish like bass and tuna -- can contain Mercury in
their muscle tissue that is much higher than the Mercury concentration in
the surrounding water.
In the U.S., 45 states have advised limiting fish consumption due to Mercury
contamination. Over 750,000 river miles and 13 million acres of freshwater
lakes in the U.S. are under a fish consumption advisory for Mercury.
Regulations Needed
Gold mines should be regulated, just as other large sources of Mercury
emissions, under the federal Clean Air Act.
Federal regulations should be developed to ensure that public health and the
environment is protected, mining companies are subject to consistent and
equitable regulatory standards, and Mercury emission limits are enforceable.

"Let me know, that at least, she will try
Then she'll be a true love of mine"

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