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Story Publication logo January 10, 2012

Memories of Red: Gold Mining in Romania's Rosia Montana

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Toxic Riches

Poorly regulated mining and refining facilities are causing enormous devastation, while corporate...

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Pulitzer Center grantees Dimiter Kenarov and Nadia Shira Cohen traveled to the Rosia Montana region of Romania, where plans are underway to open the biggest open-pit gold and silver mine in Europe. One of the oldest mining sites in the world, Rosia Montana village offers archeologists and historians valuable insights into its 2,000-year mining tradition. Should the mining plans be approved, the surrounding mountains and nearby valley would be transformed into four gigantic mining pits and a dam holding cyanide-laced tailings. The debate has so polarized Rosia Montana that no compromise seems possible.

For their project Toxic Europe Dimiter Kenarov and Nadia Shira Cohen wade through the hidden toxic waste in some of the European Union's newer member states, where the EU's high environmental standards are still not enforced.

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