Baita Craciunesti Teascu gold deposit, Romania

A gold exploration site purchased by Gabriel Resources in the NATURA 2000 site ROSPA 0132, at only 5km away from Certej mining area

Băiţa locality lies in the north of Hunedoara county, at the base of Metaliferi Mountains, 25 km distant from Deva city and 24 km distant from Brad town. Băiţa commune covers 11,139 ha and includes 11 villages, totalling 3,582 inhabitants. The specific activities in the area are animal farming and agriculture. The mining area is located outside the built-up area of Barbura village, Băiţa commune, on a land with forest vegetation, pastures and meadow lands under state ownership. The exploration area lies within the NATURA 2000 site ROSPA 0132 - Special Avifauna Protection Area Metaliferi Mountains. The site is characterised by two major groups of habitat: open lands and forests. According to the analysis performed by professors of the Academy for Economic Studies in Bucharest, Gabriel Resources purchased in 1999 two projects, Bolcana and Băiţa-Crăciuneşti, holding thus 6 projects in the Golden Quadrilateral of Romania at that time: Rosia Montana, Bucium, Certej, Zlatna, Baita, Craciunesti, Bolcana. The same year Deva Gold was awarded the exploration license as operator of the Băiţa-Crăciuneşti project. In February 2000, Gabriel announced the company restructuring and the splitting of the existing project portfolio to two separate companies, Gabriel Resources and European Goldfields. The latter was allocated the Certej, Zlatna, Bolcana and Băiţa-Crăciuneşti projects. In September 2003, European Goldfields performed the first exploration boreholes for obtaining a geological profile of Băiţa. In an interview at the national television in August 2011, president Traian Băsescu, in the context of his support to the Roşia Montană mining project, said that two more gold mining operations would be opened in Romania, operated by Romanian state companies. „We have two deposits: one of 50 tonnes and the other of 54 tonnes of gold”, said the president, without giving any other details. The ANRM president, Alexandru Pătruţi, stated for Mediafax that there is a gold mining license for Certej area in Hunedoara county and another one under the approval process for Băiţa Crăciuneşti – he supposed it was these two licenses that the state president was referring to in the interview on TVR. The exploration activities continued in 2012, Eldorado Gold allocating 3,9 million dollars for these works. “The boreholes are planned for both extensions of the Certej deposit, as well as for satellite objectives related to the exploration licenses in surrounding areas. Exploration boreholes are also planned for objectives in Măgura and Teascu regions and Certej Nord, all of these being located about 5 km west and north-west from the Certej deposit”, shows Eldorado’s press release.
Basic Data
NameBaita Craciunesti Teascu gold deposit, Romania
SiteBaita Craciunesti
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesGold
Project Details and Actors
Project Details
Name of mining area: area Baita Craciunesti, Teascu deposit
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Project Area (in hectares)11,139
Level of Investment (in USD)3,900,000.00
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population3,500
Start Date30/07/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesDeva Gold SA from Romania
Eldorado Gold Corporation (eldoradogold) from Canada
National Company for Copper, Gold and Iron - Minvest S.A. (Minvest Deva) from Romania
Relevant government actorsNational Agency for Mineral Resources (NAMR)

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MMSC)

Agency Hunedoara (Hunedoara EPA)

Hunedoara County Council
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersThe Mining Watch Romania network

Independent Centre for the Development of Environmental Resources

Alburnus Maior Association

Efectul Fluture Association
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
OtherPotential significant damage to the protected area - ROSPA 0132 in the Metaliferi Mountains
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The National Agency for Environmental Protection accepted the EIA proposed by DEVA GOLD SA, even though it states that there is "a potential, significant impact on the protected natural area of the site ROSPA 0132 in the Metaliferi Mountains".
Sources and Materials

Approval of the EIA by the National Agency for Environmental Protection
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About Baita Craciunesti - Teascu deposit
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Ming Watch Romania - Transilvania, Teren Minat (in Rumanian)
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The Băiţa – Crăciuneşti gold mines – historical guidelines
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Greennews - “Autunno romeno”. Un vento che soffia nell’Est che ancora non conosciamo, Oct 2013 (in Italian)
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Other Documents

Source: Mining Watch
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Meta Information
ContributorRoxana Pencea, Raluca Vestemeanu - Mining Watch Romania, [email protected]
Last update21/04/2017
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