Hundreds of thousands of people in eastern Congo have no choice but to make a living in nonindustrial mines, where few safety precautions, if any, are followed.
About 2,000 Romanians took over the streets of Bucharest on Sunday to protest the government plan to allow Rosia Montana Gold Corp, a Canadian miner, to dig for gold and silver in the country.
Romania's government granted approval last week for the Canadian company to mine in the country in Europe's biggest gold mine, estimated to have 300 tonnes of the yellow metal and 1,600 tonnes of silver. The government cited special national interest.
The protesters, who temporarily blocked the Victoriel Square in the capital city, disagree also with the use of cyanide by Rosia to extract the minerals.
However, the green light for Rosia needs approval by the Romanian Parliament which will vote on the measure this week. MP Theodor Paleologu from the Democratic Liberal Party vowed to oppose the project.
If the Parliament gives its approval, Rosia is expected to being operations in November 2016 after the approval by the end of 2013 of Alba County's urban plan.
Once the permits are issued to Rosia, the government participation in the venture would go up to a 25 per cent share from the current 5.69 per cent.
A draft of the agreement among the Romanian government, Gabriel Resources and Rosia said the investors would pay the government a 6 per cent royalty of the production value.
Rosia had been trying for years to gain access to the mine, but NGOs opposed it. Romanian President Traian Basescu favours the venture because of the income it would provide the government and create as well jobs for locals.
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