Presidential adviser Peter Eckstein Kovacs resigns over Rosia Montana project in Romania
Presidential adviser on national minorities Peter Eckstein Kovacs (in picture) has recently resigned as he could not support the Rosia Montana gold mining project that Romanian president Traian Basescu has publicly approved. He will submit his resignation on Monday and has already announced the Romanian president of his intention. “As a presidential counselor, I should have supported the president's initiatives, but I cannot do it in this case, which is why I decided a resignation was the best sollution” said Peter Eckstein Kovacs, quoted by Mediafax newswire. Eckstein Kovacs has been a presidential adviser on minority issues since 2009.
Eckstein Kovacs has recently signed a petition for the association Transilvania Verde, which asks the Minister of Culture, Hungarian Union leader Kelemen Hunor, to withdraw the archeological certificate for the Carnic massif in Rosia Montana. Eckstein Kovacs believes the Rosia Montana gold mining project is a loosing one for Romania.
Culture Minister Kelemen Hunor has afterward said he will not sign a document which would take out the Carnic massif in Rosia Montana from the list of protected monuments until the state's involvement in the Rosia Montana project will be clarified.
The Rosia Montana gold mining project is currently pending the environmental approval, which should to be issued by the Environment Ministry, led by Laszlo Borbely, also member of the Hungarian Union in Romania. Borbely has recently said he was not convinced of the technologies showcased by Canadian Gabriel Resources, the state's partner in the Rosia Montana project, and that he had seen better equipment elsewhere.
Basescu has recently said Romania should get more gold out of the project, as the state is a shareholder there, with 19.3 percent, through state company Minvest. The private partner in the project is Canadian mining company Gabriel Resources. The company’s CEO Dragos Tanase said the company would be willing to renegociate the benefits.
“I believe in this project. I think it’s time Romania exploits its gold, copper, silver with modern technology means, because the price […] allow us to explore without subsidies,” Traian Basescu said after his visit to Rosia Montana.
Works on the mine project, in which Gabriel Resources has invested almost 70 million Canadian dollars, might last up to two years and a half. If no unplanned delays occur, the Rosia Montana project might produce gold by the end of 2014.
This gold and silver mining project has been met with public disapproval and several NGOs in Romania have opposed it, saying it would harm the environment through the use if cyanide in the gold mining process.
(photo source: http://eckstein.ro/)