According to European Goldfields reports, the total investment value by the end of 2009 was about 43,000,000 US dollars.
After an oper letter to the Minister for Environment in November 2015 calling for an over-all assessment of the five sites as one and the court's admittance of a request by Mining Watch Romania to suspend the validity of the construction permit for Certej, Deva Gold was forced to stop their construction work. The court’s decision has immediate effect and an appeal would not override the decision until its final resolution. This means that the construction permit issued to Deva Gold to prepare the facilities in order to later build the tailings dams has lost its legal validity.
Eldorado Gold through its subsidiaries Deva Gold SA and European Goldfields SRL has obtained four more sites in the vincinity of Certej.
Eldorado Gold now holds a total of 4,591 hectares only in the southern area of Metaliferi Mountains. The total surface equals that of a city like Târgu Mureş, Arad, Bacău or Deva and comprises Certej, Sălişte Hondol, Băiţa Crăciuneşti, Certej Nord and Troiţa Piţigus. Although Eldorado Gold presents these concessions as distinct projects, a map prepared by Mining Watch Romania shows that they are actually a single unitary project. The different sites partially overlap and will be sharing the same technological infrastructure, namely the processing plant, trailings dam and roads network.
By presenting the sites as individual projects, Eldorado Gold circumvents the need to have their environmental assessments reevaluated. As a single entity the site would also face a high risk of being deemed too big and too potentially harmfull to be approved.
In October 2014 Deva Gold started construction work in Certej. The mayor announced that the neccessary permits had been granted but refused to present them to members of Mining Watch. After the opening of a courtcase to make those documents public and a petition to the then president-elect Iohannis the building permit was revoked and the works had to be stopped. In October 2015, however, a new construction permit was issued that allowed Deva Gold to resume construction works in Certej.
The gold-bearing deposit in the Certej perimeter has an estimated quantity of 45.5 mil. tonnes with a concentration of 1.8 g/t Au and 10 g/t Ag and is proposed to be mined on a 456.2 ha area. The Certej mining project, with a 16 year duration and a processing capacity of 3 mil. tonnes of ore/year, involves deforestation, soil uncovering, an open pit, two huge waste dumps and the use of cyanides to obtain gold, as well as building two tailings dams over 63.6 ha.
The project area is 456.2 ha, currently covered by: forests 187 ha, meadows 30.7 ha, arable fields 5.3 ha, residential areas 18.7 ha. Out of this area 62.8 ha will be turned into Certej open pit and 63.6 ha into tailings dams for cyanide tailings, in addition to the processing plant and other specific premises.
The ore is obtained by uncovering the soil and using explosives - ANFO (a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil). This would result in a crater with maximum depth 290 m, dug in 30 m steps. The ore is delivered from the open pit to the processing plant by 65 t trucks for 24 h/day, 7 days/week, 360 days/year.
The scale of the Certej mining project requires the use of 26,448 tonnes of sodium cyanide and 15,280 tonnes of copper sulphate during the 16 years of operation.