ArmInfo. On July 12, the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia, Lilia Shushanyan, met with the President of the GeoProMining group of companies Roman Khudoli.
According to the press service of the ministry, the interlocutors discussed the situation that has developed in recent days around the Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Combine, stressing the need for a quick and effective solution of the issue in an atmosphere of cooperation between employers and employees. The parties presented possible solutions to existing problems, taking into account the possibility of forming a multilateral working group.
As ArmInfo previously reported, on July 10, GeoProMining appealed to the Armenian government to set up a multilateral commission involving representatives of the competent authorities to resolve the situation at the Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Combine.
According to the official report of GeoProMining, the work of the plant was suspended from July 3 of this year as the employees of the technological transport department refused to attend work, which resulted in the paralysis of production. The fact is that the employees of the plant that violated the labor contracts presented unreasonable demands for the payment of additional funds not provided for by bilateral contracts. Due to the suspension of production of the plant, the local community and state budget of Armenia bear significant material losses.
The leadership of the Agarak plant also called on the MPs of the Armenian parliament to refrain from emotional and baseless accusations against the company and stated that the plant fulfills all obligations to the staff, local budget and state budget of Armenia in full in line with its commitments and legislation of the Republic of Armenia. In particular, the plant fulfills its obligations in terms of wages, overtime payments and additional cash rewards. The plant never had wage arrears and always fulfilled its obligations stipulated by the employment contract and the RA legislation. GeoProMining, being one of the largest investors in the Armenian economy, calls on state bodies to form a multilateral commission from the competent government bodies in order to objectively study the current situation and find ways to resolve it. To note, the Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Combine is included in the "Armenian" portfolio of assets of the diversified international group of mining companies GeoProMining. The plant is located in the south of Armenia, on the border with Iran, and is the largest industrial facility in the Meghri region. Since 2007, the Company has invested $ 79 million in the development of the Combine. Currently 1040 people work at the Agarak plant. The average salary of workers and engineering staff (excluding management) is 340,000 drams (more than 700 US dollars). From 2008 to 2018, the "Agarak Copper-Molybdenum Combine" CJSC paid taxes and fees in the state budget of the Republic of Armenia amounting to $ 121.9 million, including VAT payments. In 2019, the plant planned to pay to the RA budget about $ 12 million, including VAT payments. According to the results of activity, the company GeoProMining, according to official data, has invested over $ 505 million in the Armenian economy over a 10-year period.