Gabriel Resources Ltd. says there will be ongoing study of its Rosia Montana gold mine by a Romania parliamentary committee despite government threats to shut down debate on whether to grant the necessary permits.
The Toronto-based company says the Official Gazette of Romania is reporting that a special joint committee has been set up to issue an opinion on the draft law, legislation that Gabriel needs to go ahead with the mine.
Gabriel’s stock plunged last week amid reports that the government would enact an emergency procedure to halt debate of draft legislation, which could have rejected the law before it was even debated by the two chambers of parliament.
The project, which would be one of Europe’s biggest gold mines, has faced local opposition over its planned use of cyanide. But miners have also called for approval of the mine, which would create jobs and spur the local economy.
The company said Wednesday that the parliamentary committee will examine the legislation, prepare a report for discussion in each chamber of parliament, and facilitate a decision on the adoption of the draft law.
The committee can carry out on-site visits and may invite representatives of interested parties, non-governmental organizations and experts to participate in its work. It will present its findings by Oct. 20 to initiate debate.
Gabriel says it expects a decision from parliament on the draft law around Nov. 1.
Emergency procedures were instituted within the parliament to expedite the reporting stages of the draft law, Gabriel says, with two of the standing committees of the Senate rejecting it unanimously and the third committee suspending its review.
Those procedures were withdrawn on the same date, the company said.
Thousands of people demonstrated in Romania’s capital of Bucharest earlier this month, urging lawmakers not to pass legislation that would approve the mine as a “special national interest.’ On the other side of the debate, thousands of miners used their annual rally on miner’s day to urge Parliament to allow the mine to open, saying it would create jobs and investment, local authorities said.
Gabriel Resources has been waiting for 14 years for permits for the mine and has promised to develop the mine in a sustainable way.
Rosia Montana has reported resources of 17.1 million ounces of gold and 81.1 million ounces of silver, and is held by Rosia Montana Gold Corp., a Romanian company in which Gabriel owns an 81 per cent stake.
Gabriel shares have improved since hitting a low of 41 cents on Sept. 9 amid reports that debate on the project would be blocked. They remain well below the pre-report levels but traded between 80 and 85 cents early Wednesday.