ArmInfo. If Lydian Armenia hid or falsified data on uranium reserves at the Amulsar deposit, this will lead to serious consequences for it. This was announced on October 29 at a hearing in parliamentary commissions on the draft state budget of Armenia by the Minister of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia Erik Grigoryan.
According to him, on September 5, the department addressed a letter to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan on this issue, in which the results of the so-called Gromov expedition conducted in 1952-1954 were presented. On this issue, the Minister continued, the agency sent a request to the State Committee on Nuclear Safety, from which a response was received that the committee did not have the results of the expedition, including on uranium reserves. The package, which concerns the presence of uranium, was sent to the Investigative Committee, and if it turns out that the research procedures of the Lydian company were violated, the company will face serious problems.
It should be noted that despite the assurances of the Lydian company that about $ 400 million has already been invested in the development project of the Amulsar gold deposit, local ecologists do not share the government's enthusiasm about the attractiveness of the mine's operation plan. Environmentalists fear that the exploitation of the field, during which sodium cyanide will be used, may lead to the oxidation of water in rivers. Contaminated waters will become unsuitable for drinking and irrigation and may cause irreparable harm to the mineral springs of Jermuk and the ecosystem of Sevan. In addition to the water basin, the public is also concerned about the possible presence of uranium reserves in the deposit.
Thus, in his work "Uranium bearing of geological formations in Armenia", the famous scientist, Doctor of Geological Sciences Petros Aloyan, referring to the data of the Gromov expedition, noted that the Amulsar exposion of uranium is located 4 km southeast of the village of Ketchut and 5 km to northwest of the top of the mountain of the same name. Approximately 76 tons of uranium were calculated for five sites of the Amulsar occurrence, and taking into account uranium in the thorium site, its total reserves can be estimated at 100 tons. Moreover, according to the research of another scientist, Professor G.S. Avagyan, according to 40 samples of Amulsar ore, there are 195 tons of uranium and thorium there. Meanwhile, the development of uranium deposits requires special permission from the government, which Lydian does not have. According to the company, the deposit contains about 73733 kg of gold with an average grade of 0.78 g per ton, as well as 294.367 tons of silver with an average grade of 9.29 g per ton. At the same time, nothing is mentioned about uranium.
In general, the minister, expressing his personal opinion as a citizen of Armenia, said that he opposed the development of mining deposits, including the mine at Amulsar, which is an important health resort region with reserves of not only mineral water. For the long-term development of the country's economy, there are other areas - ecotourism, information technology, efficient use of forests, etc. However, as Minister, Erik Grigoryan continued, he should focus on those licenses and permits that have already been issued. At the same time, he emphasized that he had some concerns about the correctness of the conclusions submitted by the ELARD expert company on the Amulsar project, which revealed a number of inconsistencies. These discrepancies have already been submitted to the Inspectorate for Subsoil Resources and law enforcement agencies, and if confirmed, the criteria for an Environmental Impact Assessment may change significantly. The organization responsible for providing accurate information is responsible for it. And if one of the parties, whether it is a state body or Lydian Armenia company, makes unverified data, this will have serious consequences for one of the parties. Lydian Armenia is a subsidiary of the British offshore Lydian International. The total cost of the Amulsar project is $ 370 million. The field's life is 10 years and 4 months, with an average of 200 thousand ounces of gold being mined annually. Amulsar field is the second largest reserve in Armenia. According to the company, the deposit contains about 73733 kg of gold with an average grade of 0.78 g per ton, and 294.367 tons of silver with an average grade of 9.29 g per ton. It is located in the south-east of the country, 13 km from the spa town of Jermuk, between the rivers Arpa and Vorotan. Environmentalists and ordinary citizens are concerned that the operation of the mine could lead to the pollution of the mineral underground waters of Jermuk and Lake Sevan.