Movie-like intimidation and obstruction tactics at Certej

Mining Watch Romania

(Cluj, Romania) - Mining Watch Romania activists were aggressed and abused by Deva Gold employees on last Tuesday. Their right of passage on a public road was obstructed following which company representatives verbally abused the activists and violently attempted to stop them filming this incident.

Eldorado Gold (ELD), a Canadian low-cost gold company, that plans to develop the first open-pit mine in Romania using cyanide. The Certej deposit is held by Deva Gold SA, a joint-venture between Eldorado Gold (80%) and the state-owned company Minvest Deva (~20%). The proposal has been faced with strong opposition at the national and international level.

On Tuesday, March 28th, several Mining Watch Romania activists drove to Certej to verify the legality of on-going construction work. In order to do this, the activists needed to read the construction panels which had been put up for the respective works. According to relevant legislation such panels need to be put up in places easily visible and accessible for the public.

Once the activists were ready to leave, their car, positioned on a public road (DC 24A), was suddenly blocked in by a car belonging to Deva Gold’s security company. As the company representatives refused to clear the road and verbally aggressed the activists, the latter called the police.

Tensions continued to rise and culminated in a Deva Gold employee aggressively snatching the phone filming the event from one of the activists. Footage documenting the violent incident can be viewed at

“A company that has nothing to hide does not block activists. This Canadian company is using bullying tactics to discourage Romanian citizens from finding out what really is going on and intimidating those disagreeing with the mine and its excessive use of cyanide. This company has clearly forgotten that Certej is not their private playground and that they must respect the laws of our country” says Roxana Pencea, one of the activists present at Certej.

In Romania, Deva Gold has a long-standing reputation for not acting according to the rules. To mention but two examples: in 2014, Mining Watch Romania discovered construction works that turned out to be illegal [1]. And just last year, in 2016, their works were stopped by a court decision [2].

The activists escaped the incident unharmed but shocked and have since filed an official complaint with the police. 


[1] Certej: Official confirmations of illegal building permit. The National Construction Authority demands the permit’s annulment

[2] Eldorado’s Deva Gold forced to stop works at Certej

This article originally published at