Expert Opinions




3.  ICOMOS, UNESCO consultant

4. AD-ASTRA (Association of Romanian scientists from all over the world)












“The Romanian Academy determines that the project is not a public work for the benefit of the national economy to justify the side effects and the risks associated with it and therefore recommends its abandonment.”

The president of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, Acad. IONEL HAIDUC

“We urge the state authorities to consider carefully the Roşia Montană project, in order to prevent an environmental and cultural disaster”.


2. THE ACADEMY OF ECONOMIC STUDIES – The Group of Saving Roşia Montană

„Roşia Montană mining project is unfeasible  unethical and drags on for too long time, blocking other economic initiatives in the area. For 216 jobs on average per year and a few ten millions of dollars a year, it does not worth to sustainable destroy the area.”

“What it will happen after the closing of the planned mine? Total unemployment in an area destroyed for hundreds of years, in a destroyed community. Not only that the company is not going to bring any benefit to the region, but it will condemn an entire area to poverty on the long term. ”

“RMGC will not solve the problem of employment. On the contrary, it will generate a high unemployment rate and considerable impoverishment of the population. The Romanian state budget will have to cover these losses. ”

(From the Report of the committee of the Academy of Economic Studies concerning the economic, financial, social, environmental and sustainability issues of Roşia Montană project.)


3. I C O M O S – International Council on Monuments and Sites, UNESCO consultant

“ICOMOS rejects the project of the new gold mine of Roşia Montană. This dangerous technology threatens the natural heritage of the site and the fauna and flora of the rivers Mureş and Tisza, as well as the cultural heritage of the old mines used from Prehistoric through Roman and Middle Ages, endangers equipment of the old mining technology as well as 18th century architectural heritage of the small mining town. ICOMOS demands to stop the project immediately. ”

The ICOMOS Report on Endangered Monuments and Sites, 2006-2007 – Hope for Roşia Montană?

„Regarding the Roman site of Alburnus Maior in Roşia Montana, an outstanding mining settlement and cultural landscape in Romania, as a potential World Heritage Site, he 16th General Assembly of ICOMOS, meeting in Quebec, Canada, in October 2008 resolves to:

– Reiterate its deepest concern about the planned mining operations that have led to and threaten to continue the destruction of the archaeological site of Alburnus Maior in Roşia Montana, Romania, and its surroundings;

– Call for the urgent intervention of the National Authorities to ensure the appropriate protection of the site;

– Call for further evaluation of the significance of the site as a cultural landscape and its

archaeological, architectural and ethnographic heritage together with its spiritual values in the context of the cultural heritage of Europe and the world, and

– Express once again its will to collaborate with the Romanian authorities and other organizations to achieve these actions and calls for the involvement of the relevant ICOMOS International Scientific Committee and UNESCO for that purpose.”

The Resolutions of the 16th General Assembly of ICOMOS Quebec, Canada, 30 September – 4 October 2008


4. A D – A S T R A, The asociation of Romanian scientists from all over the world

“Ad Astra publicly expresses against RMGC exploitation in Roşia Montană and urges the political class and the civil society to responsibility.”

“We believe that there is no justification based on general social needs for opening new gold mines, the only motivation being  purely the speculative interests of the immediate beneficiaries of the mines.”



Dr. IOAN PISO, historian, professor at Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj, president of Roşia Montană Cultural Foundation.

“For the science and international tourism, the most important monuments in Roşia Montană are the Roman galleries.”

„(…) All these elements of patrimony belong equally to the history of Romania and to the European history. Those which  out of „practicality”, are not sensitive to such arguments, they should realize what a blessing is for a country to have some unique monuments in the world.”


Dr. HORIA CIUGUDEAN, archaeologist, researcher at Museum of Alba Iulia, a specialist in prehistory.

„There were not used the modern methods, known and obligatory on any archaeological site, such as geophysical examinations and aerial photos. If still/however, as the company people argues, these investigations have been made, they have not get to the attention of the specialists, which shows that there are hidden some discoveries uncomfortable for Gold Corporation.As a result of the unprofessional management, the research of three cemeteries and a few Roman temples was done without giving any attention to the miners’ settlements from two thousand years ago, to the military defensing system and  to the ancient roads. There was not given any attention to the conservation in-situ of the discovered monuments; the altars were taken and placed in a warehouse and the temples were immediately covered with soil. ”

“(…) They will disappear the largest and best preserved mining works of the Daco-Roman antiquity in Europe – an irreparable tragedy of the Romanian cultural the heritage.”


Dr. BEATRICE CAUUET – the head of the French archaeologists team which dug in Roşia Montană.

“The mining heritage in Roşia Montană is exceptional in Europe and in the world.”

“Since 1999, my involvement on fieldwork in Roşia Montană was determined by the intention to study the mining relics before their eventual destruction, with the desire to save in-situ the most significant and representatives of them. It was not only about the Roman mining heritage, but also about the older one, from the Iron Age (Dacian) and even older, from the Bronze Age (…) “.

The area is of an exceptional wealth and we categorical refused to stop the works in 2002, under the pressure of RMGC. Therefore, I am ready to state that the mining heritage from Roşia Montană is exceptional in Europe and in the world and that, from this reason, it should be preserved, most part of it, in-situ “. (Formula As, International Support for Roşia Montană).


6. A R H I T E C T S

Dr. MICHAEL PETZET, architect, president of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

“The Roman mining vestiges from Roşia Montană are an exceptional part of the cultural heritage of the humanity. Nowhere else does it exist a Roman mining settlement of similar importance that has survived from antiquity until today. We are dealing with/We have to do with an ancient industrial complex unique in the world, so ICOMOS has often expressed its concern about the projected destruction of the cultural and natural values from ​​here. ”

“It seems hard to believe that the Romanian authorities have given approval so that the Gold Corporation project to come to life and to destroy everything in its way!”


Dr. SERGIU NISTOR, architect, President of ICOMOS Romania.

„The position of ICOMOS as expert organization of UNESCO is that at Roşia Montană we are dealing not only with a cultural and natural heritage of national importance, but there are reasons to consider it of global relevance, in relation to the categories and criteria of UNESCO World Heritage Convention, 1972.”

„ICOMOS Romania considers that an assessment of the national and universal significance of the site of Roşia Montană (…) is essential in order to determine: what is more important, the benefit of a company and of a number of 200-300 people for a period of about 17 years or the long-term interests of a nation, and ultimately of the Europeans, for preserving the biodiversity and the natural and cultural landscape?” (Formula AS, Sprijin international).


ŞTEFAN BÂLICI, architect and lecturer at the University of Architecture Ion Mincu, Department of Conservation and Restoration, vice president of ARA Association – Architecture. Restoration. Archaeology.

„Roşia Montană was not a village, it was not a plain settlement, but a very important mining place for the area, where there were great public buildings, like the Administrative Palace, from the Austro-Hungarian period, or the old town hall, which was left into ruins. We find here a spectacular built landscape, a semi-urban landscape, all on this outstanding natural background that consists of the mountains, the meadows, the woods, the rocks; of all this natural elements on which it settled, along the time, the cultural elements.”

“There are several places where the landscape became unrecognizable due to the massive demolitions. Although the demolitions were approved by the town hall, many of the buildings were in the protection zone of at least one historical monument, which required the existence, in the demolition file, of the permit from the Ministry of Culture, but after my knowledge these permits do not exist.”


7. G E O L O G I S T S,  H I D R O L O G I S T S,  C H E M I S T S


AUREL SÂNTIMBREAN, former engineer geologist the State mining exploitation in Roşia Montană, member-consultant at Roşia Montana Cultural Foundation.

„The destruction of the Roman galleries in Roşia Montană, as the Gold Corporation company stipulates, would be a tsunami against the national culture and history.”

„The other rare metals in Roşia Montană are four times more valuable then the value of the gold there. (…) I want to present you some of the identified metals: gold – 1.5 grams per tonne, silver – 11, 7 grams per tonne, arsenic – 5000 grams per tonne, titanium – 1000 grams per tonne, molybdenum – 10 grams per tonne, vanadium – 2500 grams per tonne, nickel – 30 grams per tonne, chrome – 50 grams per tonne, cobalt – 30 grams per tonne, gallium – 300 grams per tonne. These results are found in the documentation that RMGC mining company bought from the National Agency for Mineral Resources.”


Dr. ROBERT MORAN – Hydro-geologist, geochemist, an expert in water quality.

He conducted a study at Roşia Montană in 2007 (Independent Assessment Study of the report on Environmental Impact Study for Roşia Montană Project).

„We are not presented any data about the contents of cyanide or about other harmful substances from the soils or waters, although they were collected. We are told only that the situation is serious, but we are not given data. This makes impossible a comparison between what it has been at the initial moment and what it will be the end. Namely, we can not know whether the investor improved or damaged the quality of the environment in the area.” Read the study



JOZSEF SZABO, biologist and coordinator of the study “An Assessment on the Environmental Impact Study for Roşia Montană Project.

“EIA (Environmental Impact Study) shows many gaps and does not have a character of a scientific study, which claims to be”

„All the chapters of the EIA can be characterized by suppression of the information by repeating the phrase „degraded area”, which is deeply contradicted in the present study. This truncation of information can have only one purpose – the realization of the investment. Except that a fundamental, basic study on biodiversity must present the reality on the field, on which to be based any reconstruction or compensations plans.”

The study conducted by the biologists team catches „the extraordinary value of the area in terms of biodiversity, it draws the attentions on the wealth of natural heritage in Roşia Montană, a patrimony so little valued in EIA that deserves to be studied exhaustively in its relation to all the environmental elements and which undoubtedly must be preserved.”

„It has to be taken into account that once destroyed, the habitats and the species that were formed and survived here for millions of years will be totally annihilated in a few years.

It will never can be reached again the initial stage and the currently existing biodiversity, that the team which prepared the environmental impact study does not even wish to know it and to present it to the public.”

„If the fight aims the dilemma economy vs. ecology, we ask as simple Romanian citizens: what do we gain from realizing this project? Because we know what we lose: a sacred landscape, habitats and populations of species protected by European law, natural and cultural heritage of an unexposed value, minimized in that document which is intended to be the Environmental Impact Assessment Study.”

(Jozsef Szabo, An Evaluation of Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Roşia Montană Project focusing on aspects of biodiversity.)


9. S O C I O L O G I S T S

Dr. Michael M. CERNEA, sociologist, expert in population relocation.

“The Romanian government and the moţi (residents of this area) who sell their properties should know well what are the consequences of implementing this project. By this hasty relocation, a new poverty will take roots. ”

„Generally, the displacement brings only troubles. We have identified eight components of this disastrous process: 1-loss of land; 2-loss of jobs; 3-loss of homes; 4-marginalization; 5-food insecurity; 6-increasing the diseases; 7-loss of access to the common properties; 8-community disarticulation. In short, we are witnessing a process of seriously impoverishment. In the past 20 years, there were deployed around 200 million people worldwide in order to make a way for the industrial projects. In most cases, it happened what it was mentioned above.” (The displacements in Apuseni Mountains at the hour of the truth – article in Romanian)


10. E C O N O M I S T S

Marcel Ionescu-Heroiu, PhD in Regional Development from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, an expert from the World Bank, Washington.

“The exploitation of natural resources (gold, oil, natural gas) creates economic instability in most of the developing countries.”

“The money generated to the state budget from the exploitation of the resources are unlikely to generate wealth for the ordinary citizens.”

“Mining has a small impact on the local economies, and most of the time it ends up by pawning their future.” (An economic argument against gold mining in Roşia Montană – an article in Romanian)


Prof. AFRODITA IORGULESCU, Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest.

„What is gained is going to be lost in the dozens, hundreds of years when the Romanian state will have to take care of the tailing dam and all of everything that will remain there. It is a sustainable disaster.”

„We earn some money from the fees payed by those from RMGC. But now, after the last documents, the state has nearly 6% in association with RMGC. Before it was said that Gabriel Resources will have up to 80%, but now it appears that they may have 100% .”

(What about Roşia Montană? –  a debate in Adevărul newspaper – translated from Romanian )



Over 1,000 scientists and institutions from the international community – archaeologists, historians and other classicists expressed their protest against the destruction of the archaeological values ​​from Roşia Montană by the biggest open-pit gold mine in Europe.


See the list of 1038 experts.


12. A L T E  D O M E N I I

Dr. RAUL M. MUREŞAN, researcher at  Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt am Main, Germany and at the Romanian Institute of Science and Technology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

“I think that the approval of Roşia Montană project would be tantamount to an act of terrorism from the politicians against the interests of their own people, proof of complete lack of vision and an attack on the legacy of the future generations.

„Starting the project would mean the removal from the earth of a cultural heritage unique in Europe or even in the world, the destroying a beautiful landscape, the irremediable compromising of Roşia Montană development through tourism and other sustainable activities, the destruction and relocation of the local community. Starting the project at Roşia Montană would represent a blow to the civil society and a signal for the foreign mining companies that they are free to destroy the Apuseni Mountains.”


ANTHONY HAMMOND, director of the Museum of the Great Orme mine, Wales.

At the mine from Great Orme, turned into a museum, the archaeological research it is being done for 40 years. Thus, the director asked how it is possible that at Roşia Montană to be given massive archaeological discharges after only 2-3 years of digging, given that the area of ​​interest is several times bigger than the one from Great Orme?

„Such a project would be impossible to be accepted in any other country.” / „Such a project would not be accepted in any other country.”

„(…) And quality of the researches conducted by the French archaeologists underground raises many questions regarding the accuracy of the interpretation of the various stages and of their dating.”

From his experience with Great Orme mine museum, for which he received an award from Prince Charles (“Prince of Wales Award”), Hammond is convinced that the whole mining area of Roşia Montană – the most important European antique gold center – could become famous in a short time as a touristic area of international interest.

(Dr.Horia Ciugudean, from an international conference in London, dedicated to the situation of the cultural and archaeological heritage in Roşia Montană – interview in Formula As magazine, translated from Romanian)

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