It’s perfectly fine to use cyanide to mine gold in Romania, just as long as you don’t do it anywhere near Rosia Montana:
“Rosia Montana village has been designated a place of historic site of national interest which has a radius of two kilometres [just over a mile],” said Adrian Balteanu, the Romanian culture ministry’s adviser on cultural heritage.
“At such a site, all mining activity is prohibited,” he said on Thursday.
The step is a new blow for Canada’s Gabriel Resources which has been trying for 15 years to get an environment ministry permit to extract 300 tonnes of gold from the picturesque village in a project it claims would create hundreds of jobs and boost Romania’s economy.
Ask any Romanian on the street, and they’ll reflexively tell you that the Rosia Montana mining project is bad for the environment, and so nobody wants to support it. Seemingly, only miners and a few paid stooges support Rosia Montana, and even the strongly pro-Gabriel Resources (the company wanting to do the mining) government of Victor Ponta never got around to giving the final green light due to widespread protests. Yet the potential impact on the economy is rarely discussed, nor why gold mining with cyanide is immoral in this case, but seemingly perfectly okay in other cases.
For far more background information, see my piece The Complete and True Story of Rosia Montana.