World

Thousands of Romanians protest planned gold mine ahead of parliamentary vote

  • Protesters raise colored papers during a protest against a gold mining project in front of the government headquarters in, Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Protests, joined by tens of thousands across Romania, against a planned cyanide extraction based Canadian run gold mine supported by the government took place for the past seven weeks. The gold mine, planned to open in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana, would be the biggest in Europe. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Protesters raise colored papers during a protest against a gold mining project in front of the government headquarters in, Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Protests, joined by tens of thousands across Romania, against a planned cyanide extraction based Canadian run gold mine supported by the government took place for the past seven weeks. The gold mine, planned to open in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana, would be the biggest in Europe. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters raise colored papers during a protest against a gold mining project in front of the government headquarters in, Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Many thousands of protesters across Romania, demonstrated against a planned cyanide extraction based Canadian run gold mine project supported by the government. The gold mine, planned to open in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana, would be the biggest in Europe. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Protesters raise colored papers during a protest against a gold mining project in front of the government headquarters in, Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Many thousands of protesters across Romania, demonstrated against a planned cyanide extraction based Canadian run gold mine project supported by the government. The gold mine, planned to open in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana, would be the biggest in Europe. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

  • Romanian riot policeman divert a woman during a protest against a gold mining project in front of the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.  Many thousands of protesters across Romania, demonstrated against a planned cyanide extraction based Canadian run gold mine project supported by the government. The gold mine, planned to open in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana, would be the biggest in Europe.  (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Romanian riot policeman divert a woman during a protest against a gold mining project in front of the government headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Many thousands of protesters across Romania, demonstrated against a planned cyanide extraction based Canadian run gold mine project supported by the government. The gold mine, planned to open in the Transylvanian town of Rosia Montana, would be the biggest in Europe. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people are blocking a major road in downtown Bucharest to protest plans to build what would be Europe's biggest gold mine.

Protesters marched past government headquarters on Sunday yelling, "Your treason is measured in gold!"

Canada's Gabriel Resources has been trying to gain permits to go ahead with the planned mine in northwest Romania for 14 years. Parliament is due to vote in the coming weeks on whether to back the project.

Opponents of the mine criticize plans to use cyanide in the extraction process, while others say Romania would earn too little from the open cast mine, for which four mountains would be razed.

But supporters argue that the project would create jobs for unemployed miners and provide vital foreign investment to a deprived area.