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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

Name of conflict:Rosia Montana, Romania
State or province:Alba
Location of conflict:Rosia 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 commodities:Silver

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Open 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:1600
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:8000
Start of the conflict:2002
Company names or state enterprises:Gabriel 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 actors:From 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 Finance InstitutionsICOMOS (Global Council of Monuments and Sites)
European Investment Bank (EIB)
European Parliament
The World Bank (WB) from United States of America
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Alburnus 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.

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)


Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Development of alternatives:Most 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:As of 2014, Parliament has voted against the Rosia Montana mine

Sources & Materials

Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Law of national expropriation

Government Resolution no. 458/1999, Licence to exploit to Minvest

Mining law

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Join the protest: Actress Maia Morgenstern donates all her gold!

United we Save

Romania rejects Rosia Montana gold mine

The Ecologist

Save Rosia Montana movement

People in Rosia Montana, talking to President Basescu (part II)

The Aesthetic Post-communist Subject and the Differend of Rosia Montana, Irina Velicu

Latest documentary: Roșia Montană, Town on the brink

MindBomb Campaign

New local organization: Rosia Montana Cultural Foundation

"Thousands organize street protest against Romania’s gold mining project Rosia Montana"

Huffington Post

Autonomous Action Radio


"Lista oraselor care se alatura protestului impotriva distrugerii Rosiei Montane"

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

(Rosia Montana under siege)

Other comments:The 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

Contributor:Irina Velicu & Joan Martinez Alier
Last update18/08/2019