Certej Case : The new mine project in the Apuseni mountain

Location: Certej , Hunedoara county Apuseni mountains, Romania                                        

Metal : Gold and silver                              

License area: 456,2 ha                                   

Period : 16 year                                       

Ownership :  Deva Gold SA;  < 80,5% owned by Eldora Gold; >20% by minvest Romania                 

Stage:  exploration phase                                         


The Certej commune consists of 9 villages or small towns and there are roughly 3000 inhabitants. It is located in the Apuseni Mountains of western Romania, in the same region where Gabriel Resources, the Canadian company, has been attempting to develop the Rosia Montana project . The south  part of the Apuseni Mountain is a region very rich of gold deposit.

The Certej mining project held by Eldorado Gold faces both local and national opposition. The company has resumed the construction site works in the area based on a new construction permit issued, after the one obtained in October 2014 was declared illegal by the State Inspectorate for Constructions and was cancelled by the Hunedoara Court of Justice. The rapid progress of the Certej project would not be possible without support from the Mayor of Certeju de Sus commune and the concession of the National Agency for Mineral Resources of the new areas to the same company. Eldorado Gold holds a total of 4,591 hectares in the southern area of Metaliferi Mountains alone. The total surface equals that of a city like Târgu Mureş, Arad, Bacău or Deva.

Roxana Pencea, representative of Mining Watch Romania network, explains that:

“All state authorities contribute to the start of gold mining at Certej, in a gigantic project covering 4,591 hectares, twice the size of Roşia Montană project. In this case the citizens’ public interest for a clean environment and the respect for private property are fully ignored, all that matters is the interest of Eldorado Gold. What is even more serious is that the project permit is done at county level, with the central institutions being not at all interested in what happens in the region”..

Recent news: Movie-like intimidation and obstruction tactics at Certej

On Tuesday, March 28th 2017, several Mining Watch activists drove to Certej to verify the legality of on-going construction work. In order to do this, the activists needed to read the construction panels which had been put up for the respective works. According to relevant legislation, such panels need to be put up in places easily visible and accessible for the public.

Once the activists were ready to leave, their car, positioned on a public road (DC 24A), was suddenly blocked in by a car belonging to Deva Gold’s security company. As the company representatives refused to clear the road and verbally aggressed the activists, the latter called the police.

Tensions continued to rise and culminated in a Deva Gold employee aggressively snatching the phone filming the event from one of the activists. Footage documenting the violent incident can be viewed at https://goo.gl/nqOy0U.

“A company that has nothing to hide does not block activists. This Canadian company is using bullying tactics to discourage Romanian citizens from finding out what really is going on and intimidating those disagreeing with the mine and its excessive use of cyanide. This company has clearly forgotten that Certej is not their private playground and that they must respect the laws of our country” says Roxana Pencea, one of the activists present at Certej.

In Romania Deva Gold has a long-standing reputation for not acting according to the rules. To mention but two examples: in 2014, Mining Watch discovered construction works that turned out to be illegal. And just last year, in 2016, their works were stopped by a court decision.

The activists escaped the incident unharmed but shocked, and have since filed an official complaint with the police.