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September 2, 2013

Romanians take to the streets to protest gold mine

A government-supported deal worth billions would build Europe's largest open-pit mine if approved.

A woman holds a placard that reads: "Save Rosia Montana, now or never", during a demonstration in Bucharest, against the government's support for a plan to open a open-cast gold mine in Rosia Montana, September 1, 2013. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

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UPDATE: This story has been edited to reflect the Romanian government's 25 per cent stake in the mining project. It also adds a citation to an estimate of the country's economic gain from the mine.  

A project that would use cyanide to mine gold and silver has prompted thousands of Romanians to protest. 

The planned mine, near the small town of Rosia Montana would be Europe's largest open-pit mine. Its four pits are estimated to total more than 8 kilometres in diameter and would be visible from space. 
The government last week approved a draft law that would allow the project to move forward if passed by parliament. The $7.5-billion project is controlled by a Canadian company, with Romania's government holding a 25 per cent stake.The government aims to receive approximately 75 per cent of the mine's economic value through sources including taxes, royalties and jobs. Despite environmental concerns, many in the town support the project because of the jobs it may provide. Tell us what you think in the poll below: