ArmInfo.There is no threat of collapse of the dam of the tailing dump of the Teghout field. The Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan wrote about this on his Facebook page, referring to the results of a detailed inspection carried out by the inspection body at the Teghout field.
''At the end of July, information was spread that supposedly, the dam of the tailings of the Teghout field is on the verge of destruction and could collapse at any time. If these allegations were true, the dam of the Teghout tailing dump should have collapsed as a result of the earthquake that occurred the day before yesterday'', he said.
The head of government said that after this audit of the economic entity operating the mine, a requirement was put forward - to conduct an examination of the tailings dam and ensure its long-term safety. "Under this condition, mine operation will continue, no matter that I do nto like it, otherwise the work will be suspended," the prime minister emphasized.
The prime minister recalled that these days the government was under great pressure to stop the Teghout mine. If, as a result, the authorities decided to stop the operation of the mine, then more than 900 people, according to Pashinyan, would be left without job again, and Teghout would become a big problem, because there would not be a single responsible subject to which requirements could be made to ensure safety and environmental standards.
''And those who claimed that the Teghout mine would collapse will bear any responsibility now? Of course not. Because they can claim anything. If the government succumbed to pressure, would it bear any responsibility? Of course, yes: at least for lowering the investment rating of Armenia, for 940 people who turned out to be unemployed because of this situation, for lowering tax collections and for worsening economic indicators, "the prime minister concluded.
To recall, on March 28 this year in the country's parliament, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that there is real progress in the issue of resuming the operation of the Teghout field. According to him, the management of the company (Vallex Group, which is developing the field - ed. note) is already re-employs people. Nikol Pashinyan expressed hope that in the near future the enterprise will resume work. Nevertheless, information was spread on the market about the sale of the Teghout mine to another, de facto, Russian investor, since the Vallex Group was in a difficult financial situation due to the shutdown of two large industrial assets - the Teghout mine in early 2018 and the Alaverdi smelter at the end of 2018. In either case, the "freezing" of assets was associated with environmental safety problems. The mine needed additional work to strengthen the dam and tailings that did not meet international standards.
According to some reports, the Teghout deposit, transferred at the beginning of this year as collateral to VTB Bank, which financed the project for $ 380 million, was alienated or transferred by the bank to the management of the Russian Copper Company, one of the shareholders of which is Russian businessman Norayr Petrosyan.
The operation program for the Teghout copper-molybdenum deposit was approved by the Armenian government in November 2007. By reserves, the Teghout deposit is the second in the republic after the Kajaran copper and molybdenum deposit in Syunik. Back in 1972, large-scale exploration work was carried out here, according to the results of which reserves of 450 million tons of ore with a content of 1.6 million tons of copper and 99 thousand tons of molybdenum were confirmed. Due to environmental issues, the project was suspended in February 2018. Field development can only be continued after a series of technical and environmental measures, the absence of which deprived the company of credit support. To note, Vallex Group CJSC was established in 1998 and unites 20 subsidiary and affiliated companies. Among them, Teghout CJSC, founded in May 2006, 100% of the shares are owned by the Cypriot Teghout Investments Limited, 100% of the voting shares of which in turn are owned by Armenian Copper Program CJSC, wholly owned by the group's president Valery Mejlumyan, as well as CJSC "BaseMetals" operating a copper-gold deposit in the village of Drmbon of the Martakert region of NKR, CJSC Armenian Copper Program (ACP) operating an Alaverdi smelter producing crude copper.