TORONTO – Gabriel Resources Ltd. (TSX:GBU) says it has put in an urgent request for the Romanian government to clarify whether it plans to block debate on draft legislation affecting its Rosia Montana gold project.
The Toronto-based company said Monday that media reports, citing the Romanian prime minister and other ministers, say the government will use an emergency procedure to halt debate in of draft legislation in the two houses of parliament.
The Associated Press reported Monday that Romania’s prime minister Victor Ponta said he would look for other ways to find jobs in the deprived area, where thousands have protested this week against the proposed mine.
The leader of two main parties said Monday they opposed the project, which the Romanian parliament is still due to vote on.
Gabriel Resources says the move comes despite government approval of the draft legislation in August, as well as polls that suggest support for the project, and is looking into the matter to find out what was actually said.
If the draft legislation is rejected, the miner says it will then assess “all possible actions” open to it, including the possibility of a lawsuit for multiple breaches of international investment treaties.
Gabriel also urged markets not to read too much into the news for now, saying it would “advise caution in the trading of its shares.”
Gabriel Resources has struggled for several years to overcome opposition to the project, which opponents say poses too much of an environmental risk because it uses cyanide in the extraction process.
Supporters say the mine would bring vital jobs and investment.
— With files from the Associated Press