The European Parliament adopted a resolution on Wednesday arguing that a complete ban on the use of cyanide mining technologies in the EU is "the only safe way to protect our water resources and ecosystems against cyanide pollution from mining activities". The move prompted a harsh response from representatives of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation (RMGC), the initiator of a major but controversial mining project in Rosia Montana, Romania, which on its part was responded by two Romanian MEPs.
MEPs adopted the resolution by 488 votes to 48 with 57 abstentions, calling on the European Commission and member states not to support mining projects in the EU which involve cyanide technology until a ban is applicable, nor to support such projects in other countries. The EP urges the Commission to propose a complete ban on the use of cyanide-based mining technologies before the end of 2011.
A press release of the Romanian Liberal delegation to the EP says that Liberal (PNL) MEP Renate Weber, initiator of the resolution motion on behalf of the ALDE group, welcomes its adoption in the initial formed agreed by political parties and thus the rejection of amendments submitted by the Romanian Democratic Liberal (PDL) delegation.
Representatives of RMGC mining company, which has been mired in disputes over its gold mining project in Rosia Montana, Western Romania for years, said on Wednesday that the EP vote would not have a judicial effect and not change the current applicable legislation on EU mining as it was only an "unscrupulous orchestrated attack against Romania and its future development".
They said Romania was fully complying with EU laws on mining, which were reviewed four years ago, following what they called a thorough analysis and debate which guarantees the use of cyanide in conditions of safety. And they said MEPs decided to ignore other EC-level opinions such as Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom's and that MEPs forced the motion through for "unjustified and extreme interests" with an "agenda directed only against Romania and its future development"
Daciana Sarbu, a member of the Environment Commission on behalf of S&D, said in response that the Socialist group did not discuss the situation in Romania at all but instead tried to find solutions for mining-related disadvantaged areas. It said the accusations of RMGC were completely unfounded.
And ALDE MEP Renate Weber said it was true that Romania was mentioned during talks but that both within ALDE and the EPP group Romania was mentioned by the very people who were against the resolution. She said all talks on the issue reflected a real interest about environment problems and did not refer to a certain country or another. "One should not forget that problems similar to those in Rosia Montana occur in several EU countries such as Bulgaria", Weber said.