09/02/2013 04:38 EDT | Updated 11/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Romanians protest government plans to allow Canadian mining company to dig for gold

BUCHAREST, Romania - Thousands of people have protested government plans to allow a Canadian company to dig for gold in Romania.

The Romania government said last week that its decision — which requires parliamentary approval — to allow Canada's Rosia Montana Gold Corp. to dig for gold and silver is of "special national interest."

With an estimated 300 tons of gold and 1,600 tons of silver, the mine would be the biggest gold mine in Europe.

Protesters are angry over the use of cyanide in the extraction process, and temporarily blocked a Bucharest square.