ArmInfo.The Armenian Environemntal Front has applied to the Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Artur Grigoryan calling to provide documents on suspention of all mining activities by Teghut CJSC, the statement of the Front reads. Besides, according to the statement the organization intends to receive the results of study of the agreement on withdrawal of guarantees from PensionDenmark amounted to $62 mln, provided to Teghut CJSC by the VTB Bank as a loan.
Meanwhile, yesterday Deputy Prime Minister Tigran Avinyan stated in the parliament that a commission was established to study the problem in Teghut deposit. According to him he has already met with the Vallex Group leadership, a company that develops the deposit, has held discussions and a commission has been formed as a result of those talks. ''The Commission will hold its first meeting at the end of next week and will make appropriate decisions", the Deputy Prime Minister noted.
In her turn, MP Armenuhi Kyureghyan noted that many residents of the region sold their land at rock- bottom price on condition that they will work on the mine field for 50 years. Some of them attracted credit resources, and now, after the suspension of the field's work and the dismissal of people, credit institutions began to apply 4% interest rates of fines and penalties. The MP suggested that before the renewal of the company's work, Vallex should be obliged to pay people salaries so that the latter could fulfill their obligations to credit institutions. She also inquired about the possibility of the bankruptcy of Vallex, to which the Deputy Prime Minister said that he did not have such information.
Meanwhile, in March 2018, the then-Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan said from the rostrum of the parliament that the exploitation of the Teghut mine is not stopped, it is only suspended for a while, and the mining operations will begin already at the end of the current year or the beginning of the next year. He also expressed confidence that during this period the operating company Vallex had solved all the technical and environmental problems, and the deposit would start operating in the very near future.
At the beginning of February 2018, the Vallex Group of Companies issued a statement stating that the Teghut deposit would temporarily suspend the work, and more than a thousand employees would remain unemployed. At the current stage of its activity and development, Teghut CJSC is implementing a project to increase the extraction of minerals in the Teghut copper-molybdenum deposit in the Lori region of Armenia. Within the framework of the program, it became necessary to conduct research and search for practical solutions on various issues related to ore mining, including increasing production by providing more productive and technological processing of ore. Until the company receives sound proposals from experts and decides on their implementation, it refrains from operating the mine in current volumes and releasing the relevant production.
The investments of Vallex Group of companies in mining sector of Armenia and Artsakh totaled more than $700 million over the past 20 years (by the data for middle of 2017-ed.note), including $400 million in the Teghut deposit. 1150 jobs were opened in Teghut, a modern mining plant was established equipped with up-to-date facilities. According to estimates made back in Soviet times, the deposit's potential is 450 million tons of ore, of which the company confirmed only a fifth so far. At the moment, the capacity of the enterprise allows processing up to 50,000 tons of copper concentrate per year and producing 13,000 tons of blister copper. The Vallex group of companies includes Base Metals operating in Artsakh, the Armenian Copper Program operating the copper smelter in Armenia's Alaverdi, the Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Vallex IT LLC, engaged in information technology. Around 4 thousand people work in these companies in Armenia and Karabakh.