Investor quits Bulgarian town of Trun after referendum vote against gold mining, says investment environment not bright

Without waiting for a Supreme Administrative Court ruling on the legality of a referendum in the town of Trun that saw a majority vote against gold mining there, investor Euromax Services is quitting the town, saying that the investment environment is not bright.

Euromax Services announced its decision a few days after the referendum, in which – according to the municipal election commission – 93 per cent voted against gold mining in the town.

The company had intended to revive the former Zlata mine, that had operated until the 1970s.

Elitsa Georgieva, representative of the investor company, said that the municipality would have earned 100 million leva (about 51 million euro) a year from the concession and more than 500 million leva a year in the form of salaries, taxes and other additional indirect revenue.

The company said that it was withdrawing from the town and closing its information office there.

Residents of Trun had told the media that gold mining would destroy nature in the area, poison the waters and threaten people’s health.

The company previously said that it had been targeted in a campaign involving threats, arson and racketeering.

In a letter addressed to residents of Trun as well as local and national authorities, the company said that the attempted process of communication had ended “with a triumph of artificially created fears”.

“With our investment intention, we had proposed long-term creation of real added value,” the company said.

Euromax said that in response to the community’s expectations, it had changed the project and limited the activity in the area of the former Zlata mine. It noted that gold mining symbols were incorporated in the Trun coat of arms.

“We have repeatedly and clearly stated that we see the meaning of a 100 million investment only if there is a constructive dialogue. We can think and work effectively for prosperity, social and economic success only if we achieve it together and get support from local communities.”

“Regardless of how the court will rule on the legality of the referendum, the campaign, the vote and the outcome remain indicative of the investment environment in Trun,” the company said.

It said that this environment could not currently be considered as bright.

Stating that it was withdrawing from Trun and closing the information centre, the company said that it would re-evaluate the implementation of the gold recovery project in the former Zlata mine.

“We wish success to all those who wish to invest and work in the municipality of Trun,” Euromax Services said.

(Photo: Pakko)




The Sofia Globe staff

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