TORONTO, CANADA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/12/12 -- Gabriel Resources Ltd. (TSX: GBU) ("Gabriel" or the "Company") announces that the Departmental Electoral Bureau in Alba, Romania has formally acknowledged that 62.45% of the voters participating in the regional referendum ("Referendum") voted in favour of the resolution to resume mining in the Apuseni Mountain region and specifically at the Rosia Montana Project ("Project"). Furthermore, over 78% of the eligible voters registered in the community of Rosia Montana itself reportedly voted in favour of the resolution. The Referendum, which was conducted on December 9, 2012, was initiated by 35 local mayors as an independent, regulated and legal method to gauge the level of local public and community support for the restart of mining in the Apuseni Mountains.
Despite adverse winter weather conditions, including heavy snowfall, and an anti-voting lobby of non-governmental organizations opposing the Project, the Referendum participation in the Apuseni Mountains was 43.2% of eligible voters. This voter turnout was higher than the average reported for the parliamentary elections nationwide, however the level of participation fell short of the required 50% to make the Referendum 'legally valid'.
The Referendum was advisory in nature and did not have the power to enforce or bind the Romanian Government to any action. Nevertheless, the overwhelming result in favour of mining in the Apuseni Mountains and in Rosia Montana, as shown by almost two in every three voters registering their approval of the resolution in the Referendum, is a clear demonstration of the groundswell of public support for job creation, and economic regeneration as well as responsible mining in the Apuseni Mountain region.
Jonathan Henry, President and CEO of Gabriel Resources, stated:
"This Referendum truly demonstrates the strong will of the people to re-start mining in the Apuseni Mountains and specifically the public's unequivocal support for the Rosia Montana Project. This vote is thus a call to action for the Romanian Government to create much-needed economic activity, which can be accomplished through the resumption of sustainable and environmentally-responsible mining envisaged by the Project. Gabriel remains ready to respond to the will of the people and engage with the newly elected government to accelerate permitting progress on the Project, which will create many thousands of jobs and deliver significant economic and environmental benefits for the people of the Apuseni Mountains and across Romania."
Gabriel is a Canadian TSX-listed resource company focused on permitting and developing its world-class Rosia Montana gold and silver project. The Project, the largest undeveloped gold deposit in Europe, is owned through RMGC, a Romanian company in which Gabriel holds an 80.69% stake with the 19.31% balance held by CNCAF Minvest S.A., a Romanian state-owned mining enterprise. Gabriel and RMGC are committed to responsible mining and sustainable development in the communities in which they operate. The Project is anticipated to bring US$19 billion to Romania as potential direct and indirect contribution to GDP according to 2010 estimates from UK-based Oxford Policy Management (using a gold price of US$900/oz). This contribution increases to over US$30 billion at today's gold price. The Project will generate thousands of employment opportunities. Gabriel intends to build a state-of-the-art mine using best available techniques and implementing the highest environmental standards whilst preserving local and national cultural heritage in Romania. For more information please visit the Company's website at www.gabrielresources.com.
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