Rosia Montana: its history may save its future

2017. 01. 10.

In the first days of January, the Ministry for Culture of the outgoing Romanian government submitted a dossier to UNESCO, nominating Rosia Montana (Verespatak) to be included on the list of World Heritage Sites. Christian Democrat (Fidesz-KDNP) MEP György Hölvényi, who had turned to former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos regarding the issue, welcomed the milestone success.  

Local and international civic organizations have been fighting successfully for more than 15 years to oppose the planned gold mining plant in Rosia Montana, which would use cyanide-based technology. Besides banning the harmful mining technology, the civic leaders hope to have the mining fields declared a World Heritage Site. The area is the oldest and most active mining settlement in the Metaliferi Mountains, the site of mining activity going back to the Bronze Age and enduring through ancient civilization and the Middle Ages until the modern era.

The outgoing Romanian government had delayed the official process until the eleventh hour. As a result of the pressure from citizens, however, on its last day in office the government submitted the documents to UNESCO. The last-minute move restores hope that Rosia Montana will be saved, and the gold mine using cyanide technology will not be built.

Members of the Fidesz-KDNP EP-delegation have supported the citizens in raising their voices in opposition to the mining project in Rosia Montana. György Hölvényi encouraged Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos to take the decisive step to nominate the area to Workd Heritage Site. He recalled that the EP adopted a resolution in 2010 urging a ban on the cyanide-based mining technologies that was initiated by János Áder and László Tőkés.

The KDNP politician emphasized that “we cannot install poisonous lakes in water catchment areas.” MEP Hölvényi’s report on the directive regarding mining waste will be presented in the European Parliament’s Committee for Environment (ENVI) at the end of January and will once again urge the European Commission to immediately ban the cyanide-based mining technologies in the European Union.