Mining Industry Publication Yearns for 'Impartial Journalists'

September 6th, 2007 12:30 PM

The Canadian Mining Journal is yearning for "impartial journalists" to investigate the organized opposition to a proposed gold mine in the impoverished village of Rosia Montana, Romania - opposition that the CEO of the Canadian gold mining company Gabriel Resources alleges is not local and reflects not the view of the people of the region but, instead, represents the views of radical environmental groups backed by billionaire George Soros.

In a blistering speech at a press conference in Bucharest yesterday, Gabriel CEO Alan Hill outlined the web of connections between Soros and many of the environmental groups and NGOs opposing the project, and also pushed back against the many lies being told by the opposition.

The Canadian Mining Journal reports:

In his presentation, Hill laid out what he believes to be the facts behind the organizations that oppose the Rosia Montana project. "Local opposition" is not local, he said. The NGO purported to represent the view of the nearby village is supported by foreign money and individuals, specifically Hungarians who may be waiting to snap up Rosia Montana should Gabriel pull out. He says the proposed ban on cyanide use in Romania is being rammed through parliament by foreign interests. He says he has copies of a letter from George Soros to NEWMONT MINING (which holds Gabriel shares) warning the American company against further involvement with Gabriel and Rosia Montana. (Soros is the American financier born in Hungary who made his millions in mining and whose company once moved a village and church to develop a mine, says Hill.) Appended to Hill's remarks are copies of correspondence, technical evaluations and translations. Readers will find the entire address at; click on "Press Conference - Bucharest" under the What's New heading.

Hill is not mincing words. He is angry with NGOs and "local" opposition that are supported by Hungarian money. He is angry at the tone of certain correspondence sent to Gabriel's largest shareholder. Yet through it all, he asks only two things:

"I challenge the groups opposing us: Play by the same rules we do. Tell us the truth about why you oppose our project - because it cannot be based on the reasons you state publicly. Tell us who funds you. Do not demand transparency of everyone else and operate from secrecy yourselves. And why won't you meet with us to debate the issue in public in a fair and transparent way? What do you have to hide?

"My second challenge is to members of the media: Unveil the truth. Help us learn more about these forces opposing our project - their methods and motivations. And bring the facts of what you find before the Romanian people."

The Canadian Mining Journal commentary concludes, "It is past time that those who oppose this mine conduct themselves in as transparent a manner as must a publicly traded company. And it is time for the truth of the matter to be uncovered by impartial journalists."

Well, it's always time for that, though journalistic impartiality often seems in short supply.

Hill's revelations went much further than those I outlined yesterday in a post here at NewsBusters. You can read Hill's speech here. One drawback: In giving the speech at the press conference Hill made references to visuals, but they are not included with the PDF of the speech.

The American media - especially elite media such as the New York Times and PBS, which have run stories and documentaries that slant against the mine - should study the Soros web Hill describes and learn how Soros uses a myriad of NGOs and foundations to push his political and business agenda. While the Rosia Montana battle involves Romania, not America, Soros has employed similar tactics in the United States, funding a variety of political organizations and foundations such as America Coming Together, recently fined by the FEC for spending tens of millions of dollars illegally on campaign activity in the 2006 election cycle.

Soros is a major player in both American and global politics. His actions and tactics deserve intense - and impartial - scrutiny.