Dead and Buried: Gabriel’s EIA – Gabriel Resources pierde irevocabil in fata justitiei romane

**(**/English version below/)*
Centrul Independent pentru Dezvoltarea Resurselor de Mediu
Alburnus Maior
Comunicat de Presa*
/*Pentru Distribuire Imediata */

/*Gabriel Resources pierde irevocabil in fata justitiei romane*/
/Sentinta judecatoreasca irevocabila in cazul certificatului de urbanism
pentru Proiectul /

/Cluj-Napoca; 27 martie 2008 /– Curtea de Apel Cluj (1) a respins ieri
in mod irevocabil recursul declarat de Consiliul Judetean Alba si Rosia
Montana impotriva sentintei Tribunalului Cluj (2)^ prin
care s-a anulat certificatul de urbanism Nr. 78/ 26.04.2006^ (3).
Certificatul a fost eliberat de Consiliul Judetean Alba pe seama Rosia
Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) pentru continuarea procedurii de
evaluare impactului asupra mediului (EIM). Actiunea in instanta a fost
promovata de catre Centrul Independent pentru Dezvoltarea Resurselor de
Mediu *(CIDRM)*^* * (4). Alburnus Maior a fost intervenient in acest caz.

Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) este detinuta in proportie de 80%
de catre Gabriel Resources (TSX: GBU), o companie miniera canadiana de
mica dimensiune, limitata financiar si neexperimentata care
intentioneaza sa stramute localnicii din Rosia Montana pentru a realiza
cea mai mare mina de aur de suprafata din Europa. Restul de 20% din
actiuni sunt detinute de Minvest, o companie miniera de stat. Inca de la
inceputul sau, acest aranjament a fost asaltat de scandaluri, probleme
operationale si opozitie vehementa pe plan local, national si
international. Compania miniera americana Newmont (NTSE: NEM) detine 20%
din actiunile Gabriel Resources.

Certificatul de urbanism 78/2006 a fost obtinut de catre RMGC de la
Consiliul Judetean Alba in aprilie 2006 pentru a continua procedura EIM
pentru proiectul minier Rosia Montana. A fost eliberat in ciuda faptului
ca certificatul de urbanism anterior (cu numarul 68/2004) era la acel
moment si este inca suspendat printr-o decizie judecatoreasca
irevocabila. Prin depunerea la Ministerul Mediului a certificatului nr.
78/2006, RMGC a putut parcurge etapa de consultari publice pe marginea
studiului de impact asupra mediului precum si o parte semnificativa din
etapa de evaluare a calitatii studiului de impact. Pe baza acestui act
RMGC a initiat si alte proceduri de autorizare cum ar fi aceea de a
obtine autorizatia de siguranta a barajului iazului de decantare,
schimbarea de folosinta a terenurilor, procedura de Modificare a
Planului de Urbanism Zonal pentru Zona de Dezvoltare Industriala RMGC, etc.

Certificatul de urbanism nr. 78/2006 a fost suspendat de Tribunalul Cluj
pe data de 20 iulie 2007^ (5) si anulat de aceeasi instanta la 11
noiembrie 2007. Ca urmare a suspendarii acestui act, Ministerul Mediului
a suspendat procedura EIM pentru proiectul minier si a constatat ca
orice certificat de urbanism emis de Consiliul Judetean Alba cu acelasi
continut ca si certificatul 78/2006 este suspendat /de drept/.

In dezbaterile care au dus la anularea irevocabila a acestui act, CIDRM
si Alburnus Maior au dovedit cu succes, printre altele, ca actul nu
contine lista completa a ariilor din Rosia Montana protejate datorita
patrimoniului natural si istoric precum si a zonelor de protectie din
jurul lor; ca actul nu contine toate facilitatile industriale pentru
care RMGC doreste sa obtina autorizatie de construire si pentru care
realizeaza evaluarea de mediu (cum ar fi iazul de decantare) si ca
planurile de urbanism pe baza carora a fost emis certificatul de
urbanism nr. 78/2006 au fost recent declarate ilegale de catre Curtea de
Apel Alba^ (6).

Anularea irevocabila a actului lipseste de efecte juridice toate
procedurile de autorizare/etapele procedurale ce au la baza certificatul
de urbanism 78/2006. De indata ce vor intra in posesia deciziei Curtii
de Apel Cluj, cele doua organizatii o vor notifica tuturor autoritatilor
responsabile cu diverse proceduri de autorizare pentru proiectul minier
Rosia Montana, solicitand acestor autoritati sa inceteze de indata
procedurile respective si sa returneze titularului de proiect intreaga
documentatie depusa pentru parcurgerea lor.

“Sunt incantat de faptul ca, dupa atatia ani in care localnicii de la
Rosia Montana au fost supusi la presiuni datorita proiectului minier, am
reusit sa demonstram azi ca Gabriel Resources a gresit, pe cand
societatea civila a avut dreptate. Sper ca aceasta victorie va inspira
si alte comunitati din Romania sa foloseasca legislatia de mediu pentru
a-si apara minunatul patrimoniu cultural si natural. In cuvintele
cunoscutului artist american Andy Warhol, “Se spune intodeauna ca timpul
schimba lucrurile, dar de fapt trebuie sa le schimbi singur””, a
declarat Av. Marius Liviu Harosa, care reprezinta CIDRM.

“Sentinta Curtii de Apel Cluj confirma faptul ca Ministerul Mediului a
actionat corect suspendand procedura EIM Rosia Montana. Toate presiunile
si speculatiile facute de companie in aceasta perioada s-au dovedit
inutile. Ministerul ar trebui acum sa treaca la anularea intregii
proceduri EIM Rosia Montana,” concluzioneaza Dan Mercea, Presedintele CIDRM.

* * *
Pentru mai multe informatii va rugam contactati: Av. Marius Liviu Harosa
la 0744 599 762 sau CIDRM la cidrm.cluj@gmail.com

NOTE:
1 1) Dosarul nr 1245/117/2007
2) Dosarul nr. 1245/117/2007
3) Textul poate fi accesat la
http://www.rosiamontana.ro/doc/certificatRMGC_78_2006.pdf
4) Centrul Independent pentru Dezvoltarea Resurselor de Mediu
este un ONG cu sediul in Cluj-Napoca. Scopul sau este acela de a
dezvolta programe care sa contribuie la protejarea dreptului la un mediu
sanatos si echilibrat ecologic si la dezvoltarea sectorului
non-guvernamental din Romania.
5) Decizia poate fi accesata la
http://www.rosiamontana.ro/doc/incheiere_suspendare.pdf
6) Dosarul nr. 1411/107/2007 al Curtii de Apel Alba

==========================================================

*Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources
Alburnus Maior
Release*
/*For immediate distribution*/

/*Dead and Buried: Gabriel’s EIA*/
/Irrevocable court verdict on the urbanistic certificate of the Rosia
Montana proposal /

/Cluj-Napoca /Romania; 27 March 2008 /– The Cluj Court of Appeal (1)
today irrevocably rejected an appeal formulated by the Alba County
Council and Rosia Montana Gold Corporation against the Cluj-Napoca
Tribunal court verdict^ (2) to annul Urbanistic Certificate No. 78/
26.04.2006^ (3). The certificate had been granted by the Alba County
Council to Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) to continue the
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure. The court action was
initiated by the *Independent Centre for the Development of
Environmental Resources (ICDER)*^* * (4). Alburnus Maior intervened in
the case.

Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC) is 80% owned by Gabriel Resources
(TSX:GBU), a small, under-resourced and inexperienced Canadian mining
company which plans to uproot the people of Rosia Montana to realize
Europe’s largest open-cast gold mine. 20% are owned by Minvest, a
state-owned mining company. From its‘ onset the venture has been
beleaguered by scandals, operational problems and vehement local,
national and international opposition. The American miner Newmont (NTSE:
NEM) holds a 20% stake in Gabriel Resources.

Urbanistic Certificate No 78/2006 was obtained by RMGC from the Alba
County Council in April 2006 to continue the EIA procedure for the Rosia
Montana mine proposal. It was issued to RMGC despite the fact that the
previous urbanistic certificate (numbered Nr. 68/2004) was and still is
suspended by an irrevocable court decision. With the submission of act
No. 78/2006 to the Ministry for the , RMGC was able to carry
out the EIA’s public consultation stage as well as a significant part of
the stage to evaluate the quality of the EIA study. RMGC also used the
act to start other licensing procedures such as the dam safety permit
and the use change permits including the Modification of the Zonal
Urbanism Plan for the RMGC Industrial Development area; etc.

Urbanistic Certificate No 78/2006 was suspended by the Cluj Tribunal on
20 July 2007 (5) ^ and annulled by the same court on 11 November 2007.
Following the suspension of this act, the Ministry for the Environment
suspended the EIA procedure for the mine proposal and assessed that any
urbanistic certificate issued by the Alba County Council duplicating
this act is suspended/ de jure/.

In the case leading to the irrevocable annulment of the act, ICDER and
Alburnus Maior successfully proved amongst others; that the act does not
list the full inventory of natural and historic protected areas
including their buffer zones; that it does not contain all industrial
facilities for which RMGC wishes to obtain the construction permit (such
as the tailings management facility) and that Rosia Montana’s urbanistic
plans which are based on certificate No 78/ 26.04.2006 were recently
declared illegal by the Alba-Iulia Court of Appeal (6).

The annulment of this act via an irrevocable court decision removes the
legitimacy of all licensing procedures/procedural stages that are based
on Urbanistic Certificate No. 78/ 26.04.2006. Once in receipt of the
court verdict itself, ICDER and Alburnus Maior will copy it to all
competent authorities in charge of licensing procedures for the Rosia
Montana mine proposal, requesting these authorities to put an immediate
halt to these procedures and return all documentation to the project owner.

“I am delighted that after the locals of Rosia Montana have been put
under pressure for so many years we were today able to prove again that
Gabriel Resources was wrong, and civil society right. I hope that this
victory will inspire other communities across Romania to use
environmental law to defend our beautiful countryside and natural
heritage. In the words of famous American artist Andy Warhol, “They
always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them
yourself,”” declared attorney Marius Liviu Harosa; representing ICDER.

“Today’s verdict confirms that the Ministry for the Environment was
correct to suspend the Rosia Montana EIA procedure. All the inaccurate
claims and pressure on the part of Gabriel Resources have once again got
them nowhere. The Ministry should now move to permanently cancel the
Rosia Montana EIA procedure,” concludes Dan Mercea, president of ICDER.

* * *

For more information contact attorney Marius Liviu Harosa on +40 (0) 744
599 762 or ICDER on cidrm.cluj@gmail.com

NOTES:

1) File no 1245/117/2007
2) File no 1245/117/2007
3) The text can be accessed on
http://www.rosiamontana.ro/doc/certificatRMGC_78_2006.pdf
4) The Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources
is an NGO based in Cluj-Napoca/Romania. It develops programs that
contribute to the protection of the right to a healthy environment and
foster the development of Romania’s NGO sector.
5) The court decision can be accessed on
http://www.rosiamontana.ro/doc/incheiere_suspendare.pdf

6) File no 1411/107/2007 of the Alba-Iulia court of appeal