Romanian Economy Minister Says He Supports Mine Reopenings

Romania’s Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian supports the reopening of mines wherever possible, the ministry said today.

The government plans to promote private investment in areas where mining potential hasn’t been totally tapped and can boost economic activity, the Bucharest-based ministry said in an e-mailed statement. Mines have closed in Romania for environmental reasons since the country joined the European Union in 2007.

Romanian mining needs “a predictable regulatory framework,” the ministry said. New regulations, “currently blocked in the approval process at different governmental levels,” may help reduce the state’s role in the industry, it said.

Vosganian said on Jan. 19 that new negotiations may be needed with Gabriel Resources Ltd. over the government’s stake of about 20 percent in the Rosia Montana gold mine project and over how long mining can take place at the site. He told the Antena 3 television station that while he supports projects that create new jobs, the Rosia Montana project doesn’t currently have an environmental permit, which means it cannot be included in the ministry’s short-term plans.