by John Amaruso
There is a growing movement in the country of Romania, where plans to excavate gold at Rosia Montana, a portion of the historic and pristine Carpathian Mountains, is underway by a Canadian company called Rosia Montana Gold Corporation. The method of extraction that is of concern to residents is a cyanide-based chemical injection technique, which would release thousands of tons of the toxic chemical into the ground and water. The destruction of 4 large mountains is also planned to reach the gold.
The movement against the project began a few years back when plans were announced by the government in Romania to bring much needed revenue to the primarily poor eastern European country. Estimates of the gold that would be seized range in the upwards of 300 tons.
Government officials received a draft legal package that would make the project a reality, something local residents and citizens say will only pollute the environment and turn the Carpathian Mountains into nothing more than an industrial wasteland. Worries about the contamination of the Danube River and the Black Sea, two very important bodies of water for a host of countries bordering the waterways, are among the largest of concerns.
The Treasured Carpathian Mountains
A petition has been organized by Andrei P., a Romanian citizen who has up until this point gathered almost 57,000 signatures of the 75,000 stated goal. President Traian Basescu, along with proponents of the bill, say the project will bring jobs and investment into the area.
The Carpathian Mountains, with all its history and breathtaking landscape, is cherished by the Romanian population and travelers alike, who see the mountain range as an intractable piece of Romanian culture. An estimated 20,000 protesters took to the streets September 15th to show unified support against the planned project. Romania itself is largely untouched by global investment, and has remained a staple of traditional Roman-Catholic culture for over hundreds of years.
The Rosia Montana Gold Corporation says the project will bring in $4 billion US dollars to the Romanian economy, as well as 3600 jobs for the duration of the project.