14 reasons why the Roşia Montană mining project would be good for Romania

Written by Catalin Hosu

As 2014 gets underway it’s a good opportunity to remind ourselves why the mining project would benefit Roşia Montană and Romania.

1. Boost to the Romanian economy

The mine would contribute billions of dollars to the Romanian economy, both directly and indirectly and the majority (78%) of the mine’s benefits would stay in Romania.

2. More jobs for Romanians

As well as generating more than 7,000 direct and indirect jobs in the local area, the project could help reignite the mining industry in Romania. A million people worked in mining in 1990; by 2012 that figure had dropped to just 2,500. A revitalised mining sector could generate thousands of new jobs for Romanians.

3. Safeguarding Romania’s economic future

The mining project would provide a great example for how overseas investment could help solve Romania’s economic problems.

4. Cleaning up the environment

The landscape at Roşia Montană  is far from pristine. The region has suffered enormously from past, unregulated mining activity. RMGC has already invested $10 million USD in cleaning up pollution at Roşia Montană, with a further $150 million USD set aside for rehabilitation activities.

5. More trees

In order to develop the mine, 255 hectares of trees in Roşia Montană would be felled. But, in exchange, the mining project provides for the planting of just over 1,000 hectares of forest before the mining operations even begins,  400 around the mine site and 600 outside the immediate mine area.

6. Enhancing biodiversity

The Roşia Montană project would promote economic growth at the same as increasing local biodiversity. As argued by Struan Stevenson MEP, major mining projects like this one can help the EU meet its 2020 biodiversity targets.

7. Protecting cultural heritage

Roşia Montană has over two millennia of history, stretching back to Roman times. The project has already invested $30 million USD in preserving and restoring local heritage and a further $120 million USD is committed.

8. Restoring buildings

RMGC is already restoring many of the buildings in Roşia Montană. These pictures show some of the work that had taken place so far.

9. Improving local infrastructure

The mining project would hugely improve local infrastructure by building access roads, bridges, electricity supply systems and communications systems.

10. Boost to tourism

RMGC has already invested in building a new mining museum in Roşia Montană and the project would ensure that valuable historical relics in the area are uncovered, restored, and preserved.

11. A chance to ‘move on’

The Baia Mare disaster in 2000 has caused understandable concern about a new mining project which uses cyanide. But the Roşia Montană project has learnt lessons from Baia Mare and other projects, giving Romania the chance to show that it is has moved on from the safety concerns of the past.

12. An example of best practice

With the Roşia Montană project, Romania has the opportunity to set a new global benchmark, earning the country’s mining sector a reputation for industrial safety, high quality project design, international environmental standards, and modern mining practices.

13. Gold can save lives

Gold isn’t just used to make jewellery and luxury items. The gold mined at Roşia Montană could also be used to help save lives.

14. It’s what the local people want

In a 2012 referendum of people living in Roşia Montană, 78% of those who voted supported the construction of the gold mine. What’s more, of the people living in the broader Apuseni Mountains region, 62% of those who voted supported the construction of the mine. Clearly, local people want the mining project to go ahead.