TORONTO, CANADA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/15/13 -- Gabriel Resources Ltd. (TSX: GBU) ("Gabriel" or the "Company") announces the publication of its Annual Results and Fourth Quarter Management's Discussion and Analysis Report for the period ended December 31, 2012.
-- After political uncertainty throughout 2012, the parliamentary elections in December 2012 saw a new coalition Government ("USL") take a two thirds majority of parliamentary seats, a position enabling the USL to fully control both 'houses' (the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies) and to adopt important laws without the need for cross-party consensus.-- 62.5 percent of the voters participating in a regional referendum, also held in December 2012 ("Referendum"), voted in favor of the resolution to resume mining in the Apuseni Mountain region and specifically at the Rosia Montana Project ("Project"). Furthermore, over 78 percent of the eligible voters registered in the community of Rosia Montana reportedly voted in favor of the resolution. The Referendum 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.-- The first half of 2013 will be an important barometer to determine where projects, such as that at Rosia Montana, which are significant to the economic progression of Romania sit in the list of priorities for the new USL Government. The strong electoral mandate and parliamentary majority position that the USL Government now enjoys marks a departure from the past where coalitions have had to accommodate multiple political agendas. The Company views this apparent stability and strength of Government at the start of a four-year term, along with the establishment of a new Ministry for Infrastructure and Foreign Investments, as a positive basis for engagement on the Project.-- Permitting for the Project remains the core focus of the Company. While the Minister of Environment has reportedly noted that the Technical Analysis Committee ("TAC") review of the Environmental Impact Assessment ("EIA") will be re-initiated when matters such as environmental financial guarantees and relevant EU legislation have been adopted into law by Romania, the Company awaits formal clarification from the USL Government and the TAC. Gabriel remains unable to provide guidance on the time that it might take the TAC to vote on the EIA or to release its recommendation to the Government.-- The 18th positive court decision for the progress of the Project was achieved against 19 legal challenges to permitting, licensing and other Project matters since early 2010. However opponents to the Project have continued to register new legal challenges in the quarter against local, county and federal Romanian authorities that grant licenses, permits, authorizations and approvals for many aspects of the Project. The Company's 80.69 percent owned Romanian subsidiary, Rosia Montana Gold Corporation S.A. ("RMGC") will continue to work with those authorities to ensure the Project receives a fair and timely evaluation in accordance with Romanian and EU laws.-- On November 7, 2012 the Company filed a new National Instrument 43-101 compliant "Technical Report on the Rosia Montana Gold and Silver Project, Transylvania, Romania", authored by SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. ("SRK") and effective as at October 1, 2012 ("Technical Report"), which presents updated capital and operating costs and revenue projections from those last published in March 2009.-- With the uncertainty created by ongoing political change in 2012, and only very recent re-engagement with the Government on the Project, the Company continues to scale back expenditure in most areas. Monthly net cash usage of $6.1 million in H1 2012 was reduced to $3.7 million in H2 2012 and $79.0 million of cash and cash equivalents was held at December 31, 2012.