TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Gabriel Resources said on Thursday it was still working with the government to potentially alter its ownership and royalty rate at the Rosia Montana gold and silver project in Romania.
The eastern European country earlier this week said it would double precious metals royalties to 8%.
“Gabriel awaits a formal clarification from the Romanian government on if, or how, the published statement would apply to the project,” the TSX-listed company said, adding that the State was considering a proposal it submitted regarding changes to Rosia Montana’s ownership and royalties.
The Romanian government already owns nearly 20% of the project, according to a presentation on Gabriel’s website.
The gold and silver project, located in the western part of the country, contains a 14.6-million oz measured and indicated gold resource and a 64-million oz silver resource.
Gabriel aims to produce an average 500 000 oz of gold yearly over the mine’s life.
The company said the mine will take 30 months to build once it receives the environmental go-ahead from the State, though there has been some opposition from nongovernmental groups and some politicians.
The close proximity of Rosia Montana to Roman ruins and other historical buildings has attracted controversy, though Gabriel said it had broad political support to build the mine.
The company also said that Romania’s Technical Assessment Committee (TAC) met on November 29 to discuss technical and other issues regarding the project’s environmental assessment.
Gabriel said in a statement it was “encouraged by the constructive nature of the discussions held and is awaiting formal feedback from the TAC as to whether further meetings or documentation will be requested”.
The company boasts heavyweight shareholders including Paulson & Co, with 16%, and Newmont Mining, which owns 13%.
Its stock rose 2.6% by late Thursday trade to hit C$5.89 a share, valuing the firm at C$2.2-billion.