Tuesday, October 29 2019 17:37
Alexandr Avanesov

Minister: If Lydian Armenia company hid or falsified data on uranium  reserves at Amulsar deposit, it will face serious consequences 

Minister: If Lydian Armenia company hid or falsified data on uranium  reserves at Amulsar deposit, it will face serious consequences 

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.

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