Wednesday, August 14 2019 21:58
Alina Hovhannisyan

The Investigative Committee stated that there was no reason to  continue criminal prosecution under the Amulsar project

The Investigative Committee stated that there was no reason to  continue criminal prosecution under the Amulsar project

ArmInfo.There is no reason to continue the prosecution of the Amulsar project. This was announced on August 14 during a press conference specially convened  by the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia, Yura  Ivanyan, head of the Anti-Corruption Department of the Investigative  Committee of the Republic of Armenia, referring to the expertise on  the Amulsar project of the Earth link & Advanced Resources  Development (ELARD) consulting company.  

He explained that there is no direct connection between the groundwater located on the territory  of the Amulsar project and the thermal hot springs of Jermuk. "Even  in the event of an earthquake, the ingress of groundwater to Jermuk  is excluded. The groundwater of Amulsar, as the examination showed,  does not flow into the Spandaryan-Ketchut tunnel, thus, there is no  effect on the Ketchutsk reservoir and Sevan. In these conditions,  potential mixing Amulsar's groundwater with the waters of the  Ketchutskoye reservoir and then with Lake Sevan will not lead to  significant or measurable changes in the water in the lake, due to  its size, "he said.

Y. Ivanyan also noted that according to the examination, the impact  on the Arpa, Debet and Darb rivers is uncertain, since it cannot be  measured from a quantitative point of view.  At the same time, he  said that the measures presented by Lydian Armenia to mitigate  environmental risks were satisfactory, but the company presented a  list of additional measures. "If these measures are carried out  properly and in the established manner, then the environmental risks  of impact on water resources and the environment will be completely  manageable," he said, referring to the results of the examination.   It should be noted that in September 2018, the Armenian government  commissioned an assessment of the possible consequences of the  Amulsar Gold project in terms of water resources. The scope of this  audit also included analysis of the assessment of the impact of the  company's activities on the environment and social sphere ().  And this despite the fact that the EIA of the company was previously  approved by the Armenian authorities in accordance with the  legislation of Armenia - before Lidian initiated the Amulsar project.  As consulting firms, Earth link & Advanced Resources Development  (ELARD) was selected. In February 2019, the Armenian government  allocated 396,900 US dollars to finance the third audit, which was  announced earlier.

Recall that Lydian Armenia is a subsidiary of British Lydian  International. The Amulsar project is the largest industrial project  in Armenia today for the development of the Amulsar gold deposit with  a total value of $ 370 million. In August 2016, the start of the  project involving the construction and development of the deposit  took place. Preparatory work has been carried out since 2006. The  life of the Amulsarskoye deposit will be 10 years and 4 months; an  average of 200 thousand ounces of gold (about 10 million tons of ore)  is planned to be mined annually. Estimated mineral resources, as  indicated in the Technical Report for the 1st quarter of 2017,  contain 3.5 million verified and indicated ounces of gold and 1.3  million estimated ounces of gold. Amulsar field is the second largest  reserves in Armenia. The company's shares are listed on the Toronto  Stock Exchange.

Note that last summer the project had to be frozen due to the  performance of environmental activists who blocked the entrance to  the territory of the mine under construction. The new government of  Armenia did not begin to use force and stated the need for a new  environmental impact assessment to ensure full confidence in the  safety of future operation of the field, located a few kilometers  from the spa resort town of Jermuk.

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