For centuries, mining has been the backbone of Romanian life - a large proportion of the country has relied on this tradition as a vital source of income and employment since Roman times. It is therefore no surprise to hear that today almost two in every three Romanians are in favour of mining.
A recent independent survey was carried out to understand the "truth about Romania" and this demonstrated the overwhelming support for developing our natural resources - 62% of those polled registered in favour. Evidently, as a nation we do not want to see mining become extinct any more than we want to see our jobs dry up and our livelihoods lost.
Time and time again we have seen strong levels of support for mining in Romania. The Rosia Montana project itself received unequivocal backing from the local population; with 78% of the inhabitants of Rosia Montana who voted, doing so in favour of both mining in general and of the Rosia Montana Project in a regional referendum in December 2012. These people clearly understand the very real benefits of mining that will be afforded not only to the local area but to the nation as a whole.
Obviously, the people are not blindly agreeing to the exploitation of Romania's resources without conditions or expectations - we need to ensure that they are mined in a responsible and sustainable manner, offering tangible benefits to Romania and its people. This will be the case with the Rosia Montana project: at current gold prices it is anticipated to generate over $24 billion for the economy and 7,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, with around 3,600 during the mine's operation; the environmental damage of years of unregulated mining in the area will be cleaned; the region's biodiversity will be improved; and Rosia Montana's rich mining heritage is to be protected by a programme that would be impossible without the considerable investment of the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation.
Romania has the option to turn its natural riches into significant benefits for the masses. Its masses have voted locally and agreed nationally in favour of mining - how can such a majority be disregarded?