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July 11th, 2011
Gold Futures
Introduction

About the Issue

Romania is a place where change and continuity collide. One of the EU’s newest members, Romania is working to follow in its European neighbors’ footsteps, trying to develop a strong economy, with viable industries that will provide its citizens with adequate jobs. The mining industry in Romania has historically been a steady source of economic benefit for the region, from the time of the Romans, who first plundered the mountains for gold, to the Hapsburg empire, and later the Communist era when workers were showered with high wages and benefits. But following the revolution of 1989, the state-subsidized industry collapsed – leading to widespread unemployment and poverty in mining villages. Rosia Montana, a 2,000 year-old mining community tucked away in the mountains of Romania, suffers from a 70 percent unemployment rate. This impoverished community is also sitting on 300 tons of gold and 1,200 tons of silver and stands to reap significant benefits if mining activities resume. The price of gold has nearly doubled over the past ten years: in 2007, an ounce of gold is selling for $700 in the world market. On the other hand, the renewal of mining would require the displacement of most of the village. Gold may bring prosperity to Rosia Montana – but a golden future has its price.

About the Film

Gold Futures is a David-and-Goliath story set in a scenic Romanian village in the heart of Transylvania. At stake: a massive deposit of gold ore – and a 2000-year-old village community that has existed since the ancient Romans founded a mining town on the edge of their empire. Now, as a Canadian company plans the largest open-pit gold mine in Europe, mineral wealth and badly-needed jobs compete with time-honored rural traditions and concerns about poisoning the environment. Set against the backdrop of Rosia Montana’s misty forests, Gold Futures captures the unfolding conflict between villagers who welcome the company’s buy-out offers and their neighbors who remain fiercely defensive of their way of life and anxious to maintain the stunning landscape of their homeland.

Film Transcript

  • IOSIF DAVID

    I was born and raised in Rosia Montana. My father, my grandfathers were miners. My education includes engineering, economical and project management. I am a Certified Project Manager here in California. I worked in three continents for over 44 years. I have not seen so much corruption as is in Romania related to this project.
    1. The company that got the permit, Gabriel, DID NOT CREATE ANY PROJECTS , DID NOT MANAGED ANY PROJECTS, SMALL, MEDIUM OR A LARGE ONE LIKE ROSIA MONTANA. How is possible that Romanian Government did not request these references.
    2. All over in the world when a company apply for a project IT IS REQUIRED TO PRESENT REFERENCES FOR AT LEAST 3 SIMILARS OBJECTIVES PRIOR CREATED. Romanian Government did not ask for the basic data to support a decision to grant a permit.
    3. The Romanian Government accepted 80% for the Canadian Company and 20% for Romania. Standard is AT LEAST 51% FOR THE OWNER OF THE SITE and 49% for the company that will invest. Is this corruption or WHAT?
    4. To get approval for this project the Canadian Company grossly exaggerated the quantities of gold and silver on this deposit but did a THIRD PARTY, a neutral organization, verify this information’s? NO, NO.
    5. More important is that only known technology that allows extracting the gold for the ore at Rosia Montana is USING CIANURA. THIS TECHNOLOGY WILL POISEN TRANSILVANIA, HUNGARY AND OTHER AREAS.
    6. THIS PROJECT IS A CRIME AGAINST ROMANIAN PEOPLE, AGAINST WORLD HISTORY, AGAINST HUMANITY. IT SHOULD STOP NOW.
    7. Who compare Rosia Poieni with Rosia Montana does not understand what a project is. I was one of the engineers that worked on the Rosia Poieni project for over 3 years and these two projects CANNOT BE COMPARED

  • Chris

    Iosif David,

    Your assertions are inaccurate.

    1. Most mining companies in the world are juniors similar to Gabriel and have no references. This is how mining companies start their life.

    2. It is normal for a company to own 100% of projects and pay a royalty. Please find me a project in a credible (not corrupt) country where 50% is Government owned.

    3. The state owned mine was shut down due to lack of profitablilty. All resources are 3rd party verified. The TSX requires this.

    4. Cyanide as will be used in this project will be in low concentrations, in sealed tanks within a containment zone and will be recycled. Given the cost of cyanide why would anyone throw it into a river?

    5. By global standards Romania is not a corrupt country. According to Transparency International Romania is the 69th least corrupt country of 178 listed. A better score than Greece, Jamaica, Bulgaria and India among others.
    Please next you comment on anything make sure it is about a topic you are knowledgeable about and that you present the true facts rather than the myths and legends!

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