Gabriel Seeks Amicable Resolution of Mining Dispute
TORONTO, CANADA--(Marketwired - Jan. 20, 2015) - Gabriel Resources Ltd. (TSX:GBU) ("Gabriel" or the "Company") announces further steps to initiate positive dialogue with decision makers from within the Romanian Government and competent regulatory authorities (together "Romanian Authorities") directly responsible for progress of permitting and authorizing the development of the Roşia Montană gold and silver mine ("Project"). To that end the Company has issued a formal notification to the President and Prime Minister of Romania on behalf of Gabriel and certain of its affiliates (together the "Gabriel Group") which requests the Romanian Authorities to engage formally in a process of consultation ("Notice")(1).
For the avoidance of doubt, Gabriel is seeking an amicable resolution to this dispute which will lead to the development of the Project for the benefit of all stakeholders. Gabriel has not initiated any arbitration claim or application to any international arbitration court.
Gabriel is firmly committed to the development of the Project, remaining certain that construction of a mine using state-of-the-art technology will demonstrate the extensive benefits of the Project. The Company believes that the Project will positively impact the international perception of, and economic growth within, Romania during its lifecycle from early stage construction to regeneration of the mine site after closure. With substantial direct investment in rehabilitation and preservation, the Project would safeguard the cultural heritage of the region, kick-start other initiatives in the local economy including tourism, and accelerate remediation of the severely polluted environment of Roşia Montană and its surrounding area caused by mining in another era. Roşia Montană would be a model for sustainable development and for all other mines to be built in Romania and the European Union.
The Project has been strongly supported by the local community as it would assist to alleviate the poverty of the people of Roşia Montană and the region. Furthermore, the Project has been exhaustively analysed by various Romanian competent authorities, as well as a large number of international experts and, as designed, will comply with or exceed all relevant Romanian and European Union legislation, as well as the highest global industrial standards.
By permitting the Project, the Romanian Authorities would aid Romania to foster the growth of a new, modern and responsible mining industry, balance industrial and economic development with environmental protection, preserve its cultural heritage and allow responsible development that benefits the people of Romania as well as its economy.
Over the past fifteen years, the Gabriel Group has invested significant capital on the development of the Project, and there is still no certainty on the process to successfully permit the Project. The Gabriel Group believes that it has continuously acted in good faith and in a spirit of fairness and co-operation in all of its dealings with the Romanian Authorities and representatives of the State of Romania, as its partner and a shareholder in the Project, in order to advance the Project.
The Company is able to evidence a substantial number of persistent delays in permitting activities erroneously instituted by the Romanian Authorities. Ultimately, the Project is no longer the subject of routine, regulatory analysis by the competent administrative bodies charged with its assessment; instead it has become hostage to conflicts between rival political factions and misinformation that has further unnecessarily damaged the ability for development of the Project.
Gabriel has issued the Notice as it asserts that it has not been afforded the treatment by the Romanian Authorities that is stipulated by investment protection treaties signed by Romania. Accordingly, in view of the substantial losses that the Gabriel Group will incur if the Project is not permitted to proceed in accordance with all applicable laws, Gabriel has been left with no alternative but to file the Notice which requests the Romanian State to engage formally in a process of consultation as contemplated by the Treaties.
The Gabriel Group remains ready to engage at a senior level with the Romanian Authorities in order to resolve amicably the issues at dispute as soon as possible, to the benefit of all stakeholders.
Alternatively, in the event that the Gabriel Group is unable to obtain satisfactory resolution to determining a clear and robust path forward for permitting and construction of the Project, or Romania does not action tangible steps to reach such an amicable settlement, the Gabriel Group is prepared to present its claims to international arbitration in order to compensate fully for its rights to develop the Project that have been denied by Romania's treaty violations. The Gabriel Group also may pursue other available remedies.
Jonathan Henry, President and CEO of Gabriel, commented:
"We are hopeful that an amicable resolution can be reached without the need to escalate this dispute to arbitration. We strongly believe that our past conduct has demonstrated that the Gabriel Group's overriding wish is to avoid any protracted disputes and to partner with Romania in developing a world-class and sustainable mining project for the benefit of Romania and all stakeholders.
We are firmly committed to the development of the Project and, more generally, to the commencement of a modern mining industry in Romania. We remain certain that actual construction of a mine using state-of-the-art technology will convince all those who have either unfounded or valid concerns as to the extensive benefits of the Project for the country as a whole. We are ready to cooperate with Romania to achieve that goal."