ArmInfo. Tailing dumps in Akhtala and Mets Ayrum can be dangerous for ecosystems and local residents. Executive director of the Czech "Arnika" Chemical Safety Organization Jindrich Petrlik announced this on December 6 in Yerevan.
Within the framework of the program on toxic substances and wastes implemented in the Lori region of the Republic of Armenia with the assistance of the Czech Foreign Ministry, factors of concern for experts were identified. Previously, cases of leakage and discharge of tailing dumps (mining waste) were recorded, which can cause soil, water pollution, as well as the accumulation of heavy metals in vegetation.
A study by Arnika confirmed the unsatisfactory functional substance of the tailing dump in Mets Ayrum. The soil sample taken in the village of Chochkan revealed a high content of arsenic and copper.
"This confirms the results of our studies in 2018 in the vicinity of the tailing dumps, where high concentrations of copper and arsenic were also found near the village of Chochkan," Jindrich Petrlik said. Based on the screening analysis, it can be assumed that, in the event of discharge or leakage of waste into the environment, there is a risk of contamination of the sediment and the creation of an imbalance ph. Also, an additional threat is created by easy access to the tailing pond, as well as the absence of fences and hazard warning signs. In addition, according to experts, it is necessary to check the strength and stability of the base of the tailings dam. Currently, there are three tailing dumps in the Akhtala community of Lori region of Armenia, one of which is active. It is noted that it is in close proximity to some communities, which causes concern among local residents. So, there were cases of dumping and leakage of tailings (mining waste), as a result of which they fell into the Debet River. Earlier in the region, studies were carried out regarding the content of heavy metals in the environment, the results of which revealed high levels of arsenic, lead and copper. The project on toxic substances and waste in the Lori region of Armenia was implemented with the support of the Transition program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The project was supported by the NGO EcoLur and CCMS (Center for Community Mobilization and Support).