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Gabriel Resources says discharge certificate for Rosia Montana project suspended

Demonstrators hold a poster that reads

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Demonstrators hold a poster that reads "Cyanide Kills" during a protest against Gabriel Resources' open pit gold mine in Rosia Montana, in Bucharest, Romania, on July 19, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP,Vadim Ghirda

TORONTO - Gabriel Resources (TSX:GBU) says a tribunal in Romania has temporarily suspended a key permit for its Carnic open pit at its Rosia Montana project.

The Canadian miner says three non-governmental organizations applied for the suspension of the archaeological discharge certificate pending a court case to cancel the permit. The next court date will be held on Feb. 10.

Gabriel plans to appeal the tribunal decision. The company still holds two other certificates for the project's Ceteate and Jig open pits.

Archaeological discharge certificates are required for various parts of the proposed mine to ensure that possible historical relics will be left preserved.

The miner has faced significant opposition related to the Rosia Montana project, particularly over the company's planned use of cyanide to extract gold and silver from the ore.

"We remain committed to our goal of building one of Europe's most modern mines in Rosia Montana, developed in full compliance with Romanian and European Union legislation, using the best available practices and sympathetic to the cultural heritage of the area," said Jonathan Henry, president and CEO of Gabriel Resources.

Last year, legislators ruled against a bill that would've allowed the Rosia Montana project to proceed.

The company has been waiting for 14 years for permits for the project.

Rosia Montana has reported resources of 17.1 million ounces of gold and 81.1 million ounces of silver. It is held by Rosia Montana Gold Corp., a Romanian company that is 81 per cent owned by Gabriel.

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