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Last Updated: Friday, 23 June 2006, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
Redgrave in Romanian mine rumpus
Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave has gained a reputation as a political activist
Actress and campaigner Vanessa Redgrave used a film festival awards ceremony to oppose a Canadian firm's plans for a new open-cast gold mine in Romania.

Picking up her Transylvanian Film Festival award, she gave her support to a local group worried about the mine's environmental impact.

But the mining firm, which sponsored the festival, has now retaliated with a full page advert in the Guardian.

It included 77 signatures from other local residents in favour of the mine.

The advert from mining firm Gabriel Resources argued that a modern mine would replace "2,000 years of poor mining practices", reduce local environmental damage and boost the economy.

'No alternative'

"Our planet is dying and we have no right to destroy the ecosystem," the Guardian quoted Ms Redgrave as saying during her acceptance speech at the festival.

She dedicated her lifetime achievement award to Alburnus Maior, a local community group that is opposing the plan.

In return, they gave her a square metre of land in the village to give her a physical and legal connection with the campaign.

The group has said the mine would "cause pollution, destroy biodiversity and pulverise four mountains to create the open pits", as well as require the demolition of a village that has 2,000 inhabitants.

According to the Guardian report, the mine would start production in 2009 if it goes ahead, running for 16 years and producing 500,000 ounces of gold.

Speaking to the paper, Ms Redgrave said: "I am amazed that they should be so desperate as to put in an advert criticising me, but it's for their shareholders back in Canada."

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