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Thousands Protest Romania Mine Plans

Thousands of Romanians have taken to the streets to protest a plan to open Europe's biggest gold mine in Transylvania.

Some 20,000 people marched through Bucharest and other cities and towns on September 15, criticizing the use of cyanide in the extraction process and accusing authorities of trying to sell off Romania's assets too cheaply.

Canadian firm Gabriel Resources hopes to extract 300 tons of gold in Rosia Montana.

The project has drawn protests in recent weeks after the government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta approved a draft law speeding up the opening of the mine.

Ponta went to the planned gold mine site on September 15 and convinced 33 miners who were refusing to leave a former mining gallery to stop their protest.

The miners fear they will lose their jobs if the project is blocked.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP