Cluj Napoca, Romania – Deva Gold, a subsidiary of the murky Canadian mining company Eldorado Gold, illegally started construction works for the development of the cyanide based Certej mine, despite not having acquired any of the relevant permits from the appropriate institutions. Thus the process of cyanide leaching in Romania is on its way.
The Mining Watch Romania network denounces the total lack of vigilance of both regional and national authorities. One of the largest gold mining projects in Romania, subject to Eldorado’s plans, began its first phase. The concerned authorities took absolutely no notice whatsoever of the construction works undertaken. Deva Gold’s impudent action to start the Certej mine is only surpassed by Romanian institutions’ failure to spot and sanction these illegal acts.
Deva Gold SA, a company owned by Eldorado Gold (80%) and state owned Minvest Deva (<20%) started the construction activities for the cyanide-based project located in Certej, Hunedoara county. Currently many large-scale machines are working in the Coranda open pit area. Bulldozers, excavators, along with other equipment level the terrain and prepare the platforms that will have different functions within the mining project. At the entrance in the Certej village, a storage shed is already built and another metal structure is being assembled. None of these facilities has any construction permits. On October 15th, Mining Watch Romania notified the State Inspectorate for Construction to take legal measures and asked for the immediate cease of works.
Deva Gold commissioned the construction works to a controversial local company. There are no informative billboards, as the law demands, on site. The municipality did not authorize the works, although Mayor Peter Cîmpian issued contradictory statements in the local media on October 2nd. It is thus obvious that he was aware of the on-going works, but he intentionally failed to take legal action on the unauthorized sites. Nevertheless, many heavy vehicles loaded with equipment transit already for weeks the center of the Certej village.
The Certej open pit mine started disregarding environmental permits, without securing financial guarantees or any other type of insurance for mining accidents. More than a fifth of the mining project overlaps a Natura 2000 site, a protected area that should be protected from any industrial project that envisages the construction of tailing ponds or open pits. The environmental impact assessment studies are done briefly and superficially, without clearly responding to specific technical issues. For this reason, the members of the Mining Watch Romania network challenged the environmental permit in court.
“The case of the Certej mine shows that there is no rule of law in Romania, no authority of state institutions. We only see that the will of mining companies charters everything. This disdain of order is an offence brought to every Romanian. It is the duty of all citizens to demand that this transgression is severely punished in order to discourage any attempt to surpass the laws and the common good”, commented Stefania Simion on behalf of Mining Watch Romania.