Romania’s Ministry of Culture shuts down the Rosia Montana gold mining project

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Romania’s Ministry of Culture has decided that the town of Rosia Montana and its surroundings should be classified as category A historic monuments. This means that any intervention that may affect the area is forbidden.

The Ministry of Culture’s decision thus puts an end to the controversial Rosia Montana gold mining project held by the Canadian company Gabriel Resources, according to The mining company’s representatives haven’t made any comment on this.

The 2-kilometer perimeter around the town which was declared historic monument also includes the mining sites, some of which are almost 2,000 years old. Rosia Montana was first registered as a settlement in the year 131 AD by the Romans. Back then it was called Alburnus Maior. The Roman mining galleries around Rosia Montana have also been included in the historic site.

The Ministry of Culture made the decision on December 30, 2015, when it published the historic monuments list for 2015. The ministry modifies the list every five years.

Rosia Montana was classified as a category A historic monument in 1992 but lost this status due to other decisions the Ministry of Culture made in 2004 and 2010. In 2004, the ministry decided to split Rosia Montana into five perimeters, some of which were declassified as historic monuments, to allow private investors to start working on the mining project.

Culture Minister Vlad Alexandrescu recently said in a TV show that the ministry had also notified the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) about some irregularities in managing the Rosia Montana heritage by some state institutions, such as the National Heritage Institute. The institute is in charge of making the historic sites lists.


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