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Romania to Annul Eldorado’s Gold Mine Permit, Ponta Says

Romania’s government will seek to annul an environmental permit for a gold mine project owned by Canada’s Eldorado Gold Corp because of irregularities in the use of cyanide, Prime Minister Victor Ponta said.

The cabinet started legal proceedings to cancel the permit issued by the regional agency for environmental protection in the western Timisoara county for Eldorado’s Certej mining project, Ponta said on his Facebook Inc. page today.

“The Environment Minister has informed us that this permit for the Certej area was issued without respecting the legal procedures and clearly it will be annulled,” Ponta said.

Romania’s Environment Ministry said on Sept. 3 it started an “emergency” investigation of the Certej gold mine project environmental permit. Minister Rovana Plumb also asked for the head of the local environmental agency to be fired because he failed to inform the ministry about the issuance of a permit for a project of “national and international interest.”

Non-profit organizations, including Alburnus Maior, issued a statement the same day challenging the permit, citing “an extremely dangerous precedent for Romania,” because of environmental issues caused by using cyanide to extract gold.

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