The oldest mining town in Romania, dating back 1870 years ago, with rich mineral resources and a gold mine. The rich mineral resources of the area have been exploited since Roman times.
In 2006, before Romania's accession to the European Union, the state-run gold mine had to close. When Gabriel Resources Canada said they were planning to replace the old mine with a new one, it caused controversy. As they intended to use cyanide for the exploitation of the gold mine, which would have put in danger the Roman remains. These remains include temples, baths, industrial facilities and houses. The tunnels from the Roman period have been described as "a unique archaeological complex of Roman mine galleries" by UNESCO. If the project would go along, it would be the end for these remains.
This area could become part of UNESCO World Heritage Site if the mine project does not go along, and the local economy could be redirected towards archaeological tourism.
Save Roșia Montana campaign had a world wide impact and the people's solidarity is succeeding, step by step to win this battle and save the area. Greenpeace, The Romanian Academy, the European Federation of Green Parties and the Romanian Orthodox and Catholic Church have all opposed to this project.
Two documentaries have been made so far about this controversy: "Gold Futures" by Tibor Kocsis, showing the natural and cultural treasures of the area, and a more recent one, partially funded by Gabriel Resources, "Mine Your Own Business", affirming that the environmentalists' opposition to the mine project will keep people in poverty.
In 2004, several NGOs had the initiative to organize a free music festival, "FânFest", where famous Romanian artists sing pro-bono, from rock, jazz and folk, to reggae music. In 2005, around 10,000 people attended the event.