In pictures: Roşia Montană’s environment

Written by Catalin Hosu

Roşia Montană is not the pristine landscape some believe it to be. In fact, Roşia Montană is a highly polluted area with severe environmental degradation that is the result of over 2000 years of unregulated and outdated mining activities and the mess left behind when all mining activity was halted for Romania’s accession to the EU in 2006 as no modern day closure planning was applied.

The building of a modern mine at Roşia Montană would create an opportunity to rectify this past damage. Modern mining means that even before mining begins the region’s rivers would be cleaner than before, and during mining rehabilitation would be an ongoing activity leaving the area looking like a pristine area post closure activities.

Mining in Roşia Montană would be conducted according to the toughest EU environmental and safety standards and legislation, and would be a model modern mine using Best Available Techniques (BATs) and internationally proven management practices for safe operation and environmental protection.

The Roşia Montană mine’s clean-up and restoration operation would restore water quality and ecology, remove pollutants originating from the site, remove high concentrations of various metals, and treat current continuous acid rock drainage, which is currently causing pollution in the regional water systems, and produce significant benefits downstream. This rehabilitation would take place before, during, and after mining operations at Roşia Montană. RMGC will also deposit an environmental guarantee of $146 million USD for closure, environmental restoration and post-closure monitoring in compliance with EU and Romanian directives.

Unregulated and outdated mining operations were forced to a halt in Romania for accesion to the EU in 2006, including the Roşia Montană mine.

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