Gabriel Resources could sue Romania over blocked mine project

 Whitehorse-based Gabriel Resources says it will sue the Romanian government for billions of dollars if that country's Parliament quashes a plan for it to open the Rosia Montana gold mine.

Whitehorse-based Gabriel Resources says it will sue the Romanian government for billions of dollars if that country’s Parliament quashes a plan for it to open the Rosia Montana gold mine.

Gabriel’s CEO, Jonathan Henry, told the Globe and Mail on Tuesday that the company will take Romania to court over what it claims are breaches in investment treaties totaling $4 billion.

Rosia Montana is Europe’s largest gold deposit, and Gabriel has been fighting for more than 15 years to get approval to mine the site using a process involving cyanide.

Earlier this month, the Romanian government green-lit the project, creating legislation that would allow Gabriel to go ahead with the mine, but the plan still has to be approved by Parliament.

The plan also sparked nation-wide protests in the country, with tens of thousands of young, educated Romanians filling the streets for almost two weeks to oppose the mining plan.

This week, Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that Parliament likely wouldn’t approve the plan. Gabriel’s share price plummeted to 50 cents at the news.

Gabriel Resources is incorporated in Whitehorse but is a Yukon company in name only. It is common for foreign companies that want to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, as Gabriel does, to incorporate in Canadian jurisdictions with loose regulations governing shareholders and boards of directors. The Yukon doesn’t require the directors of incorporated companies to reside in the territory.