2015. 05. 07.
Cyanide is a highly toxic chemical used in gold-mining, which can have a catastrophic and irreversible impact on human health and the environment and thus on biodiversity. The worst accident involving cyanide spills occurred on January 30, 2000, when more than 100,000 cubic meters of cyanide-contaminated water were released from a gold-mine reservoir near Rosia Montana (Verespatak) into the Tisza-Danube rivers, causing the largest ecological disaster in the history of Central Europe at that time. The cross-border effects of such accidents highlight the need for an EU approach to the serious environmental threat posed by cyanide mining.
On December 8, 2009 the Hungarian National Assembly introduced a complete ban on cyanide-based mining technologies in the country. In 2006 the European Parliament tightened the rules for cyanide-based technologies due to their environmental impact. This step however falls far behind national initiatives, such as the one in Hungary, introducing a general ban on cyanide technologies. In recent years in Romania, near Rosia Montana (Verespatak) attempts were made to re-start large scale mining.
On the fifth anniversary of the EP resolution mentioned above, MEP László Tőkés joined by several colleagues from all political groups addressed a letter to Commissioner Karmenu Vella asking that the Commission adequately address the concerns articulated in the 2010 resolution as soon as possible. The letter stressed that the European Commission, as the body holding the monopoly of execution of EU legislation, owes it to the European Parliament and to European citizens to take action towards the introduction of a general ban on cyanide-based mining.