ArmInfo. The claim to invalidate the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under the Amulsar gold mine development program was rejected by the Administrative Court of Armenia. This is stated in the comments of the Lidian Armenia company developing the field.
According to the source, the claim for invalidation of the EIA was submitted by the Minister of the Environment. According to Lidian Armenia, "the court's argument is important in the context of ongoing illegal actions around the Amulsar project. According to a group of people, allegedly" new environmental factors "identified could invalidate the April 2016 EIA. However, dismissing the lawsuit, the Administrative Court found that the evidence presented is not "new environmental factors", and cannot serve as the basis for invalidating the current expert opinion of the EIA. In particular, this refers to the controversial conclusion of the Ellard company, which, by order of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia, conducted an expert assessment of the EIA, presented by the Ministry of the Environment to the Prime Minister's office with justification of 13 points, as well as an independent examination commissioned by Arut Bronozyan .
The current president and chief executive officer of Lydian International Edward Sellers of this connection, said: "This news is especially important in terms of the veracity of Elard's dubious report and letter from the Minister of the Environment. Lydian International EIA is fully consistent with Armenian and international standards and is designed in accordance with the best international We value the fact that the court upheld the legality of the EIA, and the trial is further evidence of attempts to impede Lydian's legal right to develop implementation of the Amulsar project. The Prime Minister of Armenia has repeatedly made statements confirming that there are no legal grounds that would prevent the company from completing the construction of the project and using it in the interests of the state. The Prime Minister of Armenia urged to abandon blocking roads and restore free access to the mine's territory. Nevertheless, the illegal checkpoint continues to this day. "
It should be noted that earlier Minister of Environment of the Republic of Armenia Eric Grigoryan, expressing his personal opinion as an Armenian citizen, 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 the minister, Eric Grigoryan noted, 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 Ellard expert company on the Amulsar project, which revealed a number of inconsistencies. These discrepancies have already been submitted to the Inspectorate for Subsoil and to law enforcement agencies, and if confirmed, the criteria for assessing the environmental impact can significantly change. The organization responsible for providing accurate information is responsible for it. And if one of the parties, whether it is a state body or Lidian Armenia company, comes out with 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 reserves in Armenia. 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. It is located in the south-east of the country, 13 km from the resort 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.