Romania; How a Canadian mining company is plundering $4.4 billion from the people of Romania

19.Jul 2018.

On July 30, 2015, Gabriel Resources registered a request for arbitration against Romania with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a part of the World Bank, invoking Bilateral Investment Treaties between Canada, the United Kingdom and Romania. Gabriel Resources is a Canadian mining company registered in Canada, with offices also in the U.K. On July 21, 2015, Gabriel Resources issued a press release, which made no reference to environmental studies published by Alburnus Maior, an NGO dedicated to protecting the Roșia Montană area in Romania where the mining company had interest in extracting gold. The gold resources at Roșia Montană are the largest in Europe, estimated at 330 tons of gold and 1,600 tons of silver in the four mountains surrounding the town of Roșia Montană, if the mining were to use blasting and cyanide extraction.

The demands from Gabriel Resources began with the claim that Romania broke the BIT signed in Bucharest on May 8, 2009 between Canada and Romania and the BIT signed in London on July 13, 1995, between the U.K. and Romania .

For BIT Canada, according to Gabriel Resources, Romania broke:

Article 2 which stipulates that investors must receive fair and equitable treatment, and full protection and security.

Article 3 which stipulates that there should be no distinction between foreign and local investors, and that foreign investors must be able to reap the benefits of their investments.

Article 8 which stipulates that investments or the returns of investors shall not be nationalized or expropriated except for a public purpose, under due process of law, in a non-discriminatory manner and against prompt, adequate and effective compensation.

For TBI UK, Romania broke, according to Gabriel Resources, articles 2, 3 and 5, similar to TBI Canada.

On June 30, 2017, Gabriel Resources registered a moratorium, asking for US$ 4.4 billion in compensation, based on the fact that Romania has not answered amiably to requests for resolving the dispute initiated in 2015. The first hearing in the case will take place between September 9 and 20, 2019, according to a Reuters article, which makes no reference to the ecological disaster caused by such exploitation and to the massive public protests over the years against this project. The article was published also in The Globe and Mail and CNBC.

Romanian resistance against plunder

The Romanian people are poised to continue the massive opposition to the mining project, which they find greedy, aggressive, non-transparent, hypocritical, undemocratic, criminal, destructive, partisan, and anti-justice. The ISDS is very business-friendly with global capital. Romanian civil society has begun putting pressure on the Romanian government not to give in to corporate pressures. The people are simply demanding that not one penny from the Romanian budget — intended to help pensioners below the threshold of poverty, or hospitals in disparage, or infrastructure in decay — be paid into the coffers of a corporate plunderer.

There will be no Kinder Morgan in Romania.

Source: rabble