13 09 2007  Bucharest __ The Romanian Environment Ministry announced
on Thursday that it had suspended a project by a Canadian company to
start Europe's biggest open-cast gold mine in the Carpathians by using
cyanide to extract gold.

Officials said the plan lacked the necessary environmental documentation.

"The moment the company presents a legal planning permission, it can
go ahead", Environment Minister Attila Korodi told a news conference.

The project of Toronto-based Gabriel Resources in developing its 10.6
million ounce Rosia Montana reserves is under fire from ecologists,
rights groups and historians, who fear damage to nearby archaeological
sites in central Transylvania.

Gabriel Resources CEO, Alan R. Hill, said the company was disappointed
"by the actions of the Ministry of Environment, which is taking upon
itself the functions of a court of law - interpreting and enforcing
the provisions of a law that does not have any application to the
review process for the Rosia Montana exploration".

The project has been challenged by environmental groups and the Soros
Foundation's Open Society Institute, and there is an ongoing legal

Gabriel Resources says it will use the latest in
environmentally-friendly technology, and argues the scheme will
benefit Romania by bringing the state $880 million in profits and tax

It has spent millions of dollars so far on relocating people away from
the impoverished region where unemployment runs at 60 per cent.

The company said the mining project would create 2,000 jobs.

The Canadian mining company had previously criticised NGOs and even
Hungary for trying to block the project.

Budapest has attacked the gold-mining project, arguing – on the basis
of two earlier accidents this decade – that the use of cyanide is
environmentally hazardous, and may trigger cross-border pollution of

A bill to ban the use of cyanide in mining is being discussed by the
Romanian parliament. The initiative comes from a senator who
represents the ethnic Hungarian party, UDMR.

Christopher Lawson, Writer/Editor
Communications Director, Ionic Pools Limited
Strada Toma Cozma nr. 9
RO-700554 IASI, Romania
Tel./Fax (+40) 332108265 Mobile (+40) 726913413

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