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Special parliamentary committee rejects Gov't version of Rosia Montana gold mine bill

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The special parliamentary committee on the Rosia Montana mining project rejected on Monday the relevant bill in the form referred to it by the Government.

According to the explanatory report, the committee considers that the bill referred to it for consideration does not satisfactorily cover all the complex requirements to the framework for mineral resource exploitation activities in Romania and consequently proposes the rejection thereof.

'Given the deficiencies of the current legislation, which does not take into account the specifics of projects the size of the mining project under discussion, the committee recommends the completion of the legislative framework with measures capable of stimulating the implementation of mining projects of this scale. The committee considers that fair partnership terms need to be established between the majority shareholder and the state-owned Romanian company under observance of the mandatory Community regulations and of the principles for the sustainable development of the areas where the project will be carried out. The committee appreciates the changes proposed by the Government of Romania in the terms of the initial Agreement (license), considering that they bring a real improvement to the license in force and can provide economic benefits to the Romanian state. In the present report, the committee proposes a set of actions to the effect of setting in place a consistent legislative framework that should support the Romanian state's negotiation position in other projects of this scale,' reads the document.

The committee deems it is necessary to consider alternative scenarios for establishing royalties and state equity in mining exploitations, taking after the example of other states.

'The committee draws attention to potential breaches of the legislation in force during the unfolding of the Rosia Montana mining project. Therefore, the committee will submit this report to the competent authorities in order to ensure the full legality of the Rosia Montana project and for the investigation, where appropriate, of the elements assumed to be illegal. The committee recommends the declassification of the license and of the classified documents related to this mining project (less the maps and documents referring to the deposit),' reads the cited report.

Mining project at Rosia Montana must fit in a future framework act

The mining project at Rosia Montana must fit in a future framework act, set to be adopted by the Parliament, said on Monday Prime Minister Victor Ponta, co-president of the USL . 'That act will provide a framework for all the mining projects', said Ponta at the USL headquarters, when asked what would happen to Rosia Montana mining project. He added that, in Romania, there are over 500 mines that were shut down, with tens of thousands of lost jobs and there are project for a big number of them to be reopened .

Asked if the current situation can not be seen as a failure of PSD, as well, the party president replied he wanted this exploitation to be carried out based on a law. ' But the Parliament has decided it wants a framework act. It deems to me as a very good solution and I support it', the Prime Minister added.

Asked if there are MPs wishing to oppose to the USL position on the exploitation project at Rosia Montana, Victor Ponta admitted that there might be exceptions, MPs representing mining areas.

' But the joint position of USL is to reject the bill, and to give at the same time a clear message that Romania, the Government and the USL are backing far reaching economic projects of exploitation of all our resources. It's a very clear message and, by the way, when speaking about the shale gas, where the position is very clear, of PSD and of PNL, I also appreciated the PDL position to this end, to boost and support together an encompassing legal framework for all these projects and to ask all institutions with expertise in the field to participate in the creation of this framework which will be brought out to public debate', Victor Ponta added.

 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013