Today The Gaia Foundation joins a coalition of European allies in support of the Bang! Ban Cyanide Campaign. Together we call upon the EU, and Environmental Commissioner candidate Karmenu Vela, to ban toxic cyanide-based mining in Europe, establishing a continental precedent for ecological sanity that can be replicated worldwide.

29th September 2014

Joint statement from the Bang! Ban Cyanide Campaign

In 2010 the European Parliament voted to ban cyanide-based mining, due to the overwhelming risks posed by this technology to human and environmental health. We want to turn this vote into reality by asking Mr. Karmenu Vella, the candidate for Commissioner for the Environment, to enforce the resolution and act upon it!

Though many citizens of the Global North still imagine mining to be an industry operating in isolated, far-flung corners of the globe, large-scale, open-pit gold mines are on the rise throughout Europe.

EU citizens are too often disconnected from the reality that the metals used in their computers, electronic devices and mobile phones are made up from elements extracted from the Earth. Modern mining damages the environment; causes lasting pollution; uses large quantities of highly toxic chemicals such as cyanide and often also displaces entire communities.

Many of us live in areas threatened by such toxic mines. As well as talking about our common threatwe are proposing a common solution. From examples around the world, we know that cyanide-based mining affects the environment as well as communities both close by and far away. We also know, from cases around the world, that when people unite, they win. This is what recently happened in Slovakia, where the cyanide-based mining was banned.

In August 2014 at Rosia Montana in Romania, we launched Bang! Ban Cyanide, a common campaign to ban the use of cyanide-based mining in Europe.

Our vision and commitment:

We know that modern industrial mining is a risky chemical process that does not generate wealth but leads to pollution, poverty and dependency. We also know that it uproots people and communities.

We believe that Europe should be made up of strong and healthy communities with citizens that are confident about the present and the future

We know that extractives and cyanide are linked to corruption and to political decisions enforced from above.

We believe that true democracy thrives when decision-makers work for people and not for power and profit.

We refuse to accept that a chemical substance as poisonous as cyanide is still allowed for use in such large quantities in mining throughout Europe-a densely inhabited area. Cyanide has high toxicity and can rapidly lead to death. A spoonful of a 2% cyanide solution will kill a human being and ever-recurring mining accidents show its devastating impact.

We believe that the time has come to demand that Europe’s decision-makers finally act and make cyanide-based mining a thing of the past.

A Call to Action

We have joined forces to address the hard facts on the risks posed by cyanide-based mining during the hearing of Mr. Karmenu Vella, the candidate for Commissioner for the Environment. Through direct contact with our MEPs and social media, we have communicated the importance of placing the ban on cyanide based mining on the next Commissioner’s agenda.

MEPs that have been listening to our concerns will address Mr. Karmenu Vella during the hearings scheduled to take place on September 29th.

Cyanide knows no borders and we call upon our friends throughout Europe to join us in this effort!

#askteamjuncker to #bancyanide at the #EPhearings2014

Notes to Editors

The Gaia Foundation is one of a European coalition of NGOs, initiative groups and communities from Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, UK, The Czech Republic and Turkey, that have come together to fight toxic mines and cyanide-based mining in Europe.

For more information please contact

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Press team:
Roxana Pencea, +40 723 024300 and Stephanie Roth, +49 151 57472625

Members of the European Bang! Ban Cyanide campaign:

CATAPA (Belgium, Latin America) |

Initiative de solidarité avec la Grèce qui resiste (Bruxelles, Belgium) |

Za Zemita (Bulgaria) |

Čechy nad zlato (Czech Republic)

Šumava nad zlato (Czech Republic) |

Brdy nad zlato (Czech Republic) |

Veselý vrch (Czech Republic) |

Stop Talvivaara (Finland) |

Kaivosvahdit (Finland) |

Naiset Rauhan Puolesta (Finland) |

Naiset Atomivoimaa Vastaan (Finland) ullaklotzer(at)

Edelleen Ei ydinvoimaa (Finland) | lohi(at)

Collectif de vigilance sur les projets miniers Creusois (France) |

Oui à l’avenir (France)

ALDEAH (Alternatives au Développement Extractiviste et Anthropocentré) (France) |

Maiouri Nature Guyane (Guyane Française) |

Utopia (France) |

Hellenic Mining Watch (Greece) |

Salva la Selva (Germany/ Spain) |

Campania Salvati Rosia Montana (Romania) |

Mining Match Romania (Romania) |

Kremnica nad zlato (Slovakia) |

Plataforma Salvemos Cabana (Spain) |

ContraMINAcción (Galicia, Spain) |

Plataforma pola Defensa de Corcoesto e Bergantiños (Galicia, Spain) |

The Gaia Foundation ( United Kingdom) |

Plataforma ORO NO (Asturias, SPAIN) |

Çanakkale Çevre Platformu (Turkey) |