Rosia Montana, Romania


In July, 28, 2002 Rosia Montana witnessed a large meeting of 350 people from the region. This meeting produced the first Declaration in Romania after 1989: the â€Rosia Montana Declaration that articulated and legitimated Alburnus Maior, as the local association. The purpose of this grassroot organization was to mobilize opposition to what had been promoted to be the largest open cast cyanide use gold mine in Europe, a project of a Canadian corporation called Gabriel Resources and later on Rosia Montana Gold Corporation. The Declaration was supported (signed) by a group of 25 environmental NGOs from Romania. For the last 14 years Alburnus Maior has been successful not only in blocking the mining project but also in developing the most enduring and the largest socio-environmental movement in Romania with intense transnational networking. Currently, the movement has gathered over 100.000 active supporters who, by means of activism and direct participation, donations or promotion have been involved in the many various actions initiated in Rosia or (inter)nationally for Rosia as to transform the area from a doomed mono-industrial isolated space into a dynamic, lively and attractive region of farming, eco-tourism and socio-political debates about alternative futures.

Basic Data
NameRosia Montana, Romania
SiteRosia Montana , Alba county
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
Tailings from mines
Specific CommoditiesSilver
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsOpen cast mining, over 1600 ha Proven and Probable Reserves of 10.1 million oz of gold and 47.6 million oz of silver (215 million tons at 1.46g/t Au and 6.88 g/t Ag).

Most important actor is the local association Alburnus Maior: [email protected]
Project Area (in hectares)1600
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population8000
Start Date2002
Company Names or State EnterprisesGabriel Resources (GR) from Canada
Rosia Montana Gold Corporation from Canada
Minvest from Romania
Electrum Strategic Holdings LLC
Paulson & CO
Newmont Mining Corporation from United States of America
Relevant government actorsFrom Romania: Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Culture and National Patrimony, Ministry of Economy, Commerce and Business

Romanian Parliament

From Hungary: Ministry of Environment and Water Management, Ministry of Culture

International and Financial InstitutionsICOMOS (Global Council of Monuments and Sites)
European Investment Bank (EIB)
European Parliament
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAlburnus Maior, Save Rosia Montana campaign, Sighisoara Durabila, Pro Bicycles Urbo Association, Alma-Ro Association, TERRA Mileniul III Foundation, The Consortium ‘Baia Mare without Pollution’, Piatra Altarului-Cluj Club, Districtual Foundation for Youth –Constanta, A.S.C.O.R, Cluj-Napoca, A.R.M.E.D.D Bucharest, Romanian Institute for Peace, Eco-Alpex 024, Perpetuum Mobile Tourist Association, Ecologic Club “Transilvania’, Ciclotourism Club Napoca, CETM ALBAMont, Greenpeace, A.R.I.N Braila, Romantic Club Association, Roman Alpin Club, Association –Timisoara ECOMEDIA 21, Association, TACTIC -Logistic Centre, Mare Nostrum Constanta, AIDRom.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Development of AlternativesMost proposals for alternatives have been proposed by the Rosia Montana movement (as a network coordinated by the local organization Alburnus Maior): eco-agro-tourism; HayFest; family villas; small farming and agriculture; small family bussiness; patrimony restoration supported by voluntary architects

Proposal for inclusion in UNESCO (a campaign of the movement)

Adopt a House in Rosia: proposal initiated by initiated by Alburnus Maior in partnership with ARA – Architecture. Restoration. Archaeology, an NGO involved in research, conservation and enhancement of cultural heritage to the benefit of communities and society:

Inclusion in the EUROPA NOSTRA program as one of the 7 most endangered cultural landmarks of Europe:
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.As of 2014, Parliament has voted against the Rosia Montana mine
Sources and Materials

Government Resolution no. 458/1999, Licence to exploit to Minvest
[click to view]

Law of national expropriation
[click to view]

Mining law
[click to view]


New local organization: Rosia Montana Cultural Foundation
[click to view]

Save Rosia Montana movement
[click to view]

Latest documentary: Roșia Montană, Town on the brink
[click to view]

People in Rosia Montana, talking to President Basescu (part II)
[click to view]

MindBomb Campaign
[click to view]

The Aesthetic Post-communist Subject and the Differend of Rosia Montana, Irina Velicu
[click to view]

Join the protest: Actress Maia Morgenstern donates all her gold!
[click to view]

United we Save
[click to view]

Romania rejects Rosia Montana gold mine

The Ecologist
[click to view]


Huffington Post
[click to view]

"Thousands organize street protest against Romania’s gold mining project Rosia Montana"
[click to view]

Autonomous Action Radio
[click to view]

[click to view]

"Lista oraselor care se alatura protestului impotriva distrugerii Rosiei Montane"
[click to view]

Media Links

(Rosia Montana under siege)
[click to view]

Other CommentsThe organizations that signed the declaration and/or supported the movement are as follows:

Alburnus Maior & Rosia Montana Movement -,

Sighisoara Durabila -

Pro Bicycles Urbo Association – no website

Alma-Ro Association -

TERRA Mileniul III Foundation -

The Consortium “Baia Mare without Pollution – nu am gasit

Piatra Altarului-Cluj Club – no website

Architecture. Restoration. Archaeology Association -

Districtual Foundation for Youth—Constanta - A.S.C.O.R. - Cluj-Napoca -

A.R.M.E.D.D. Bucharest – no website

Romanian Institute for Peace -

Eco-Alpex 024 – no website

Perpetuum Mobile Tourist Association – no website

Ecologic Club “Transilvania -

Ciclotourism Club Napoca -


Greenpeace -

A.R.I.N. Braila -

Romantic Club Association – no website

Roman Alpin Club -

Association – Timisoara – no website

ECOMEDIA 21 Association – no website

TACTIC Logistic Centre – no website

Mare Nostrum Constanta -

AIDRom -

Militia spirituala -

ReGeneration -

Babes-Bolyai University -

Romanian Academy -

Romanian Church -

Mining Watch -

No cyanide Romania coalition -

Meta Information
ContributorIrina Velicu & Joan Martinez Alier
Last update25/09/2014