ArmInfo. On March 11, as part of the "YES" campaign for the constitutional referendum scheduled for April 5, RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with Jermuk residents who had blocked the road to the Amulsar field.
Local residents presented to the prime minister their concerns regarding the exploitation of the field. In particular, they noted public health risks due to the proximity of the mine to Jermuk. Environmental risks are also a concern, especially given the fact that Jermuk is considered a resort area. As noted, during the operation of the mine, the city will become unattractive to tourists, which carries serious economic risks. Activists assured the prime minister that they will defend their position to the last, and will not unblock the road, even if the government decides to give the green light to this project. In particular, they expressed their concerns about information on the presence of uranium in Amulsar.
Meanwhile, Pashinyan emphasized that he no less than local residents wants to have complete information about the possible risks of operating the field. He also assured that he was ready to delve into the study of this issue as much as possible. According to him, if the project carries uncontrollable environmental risks, then it will not be implemented. The operation of the mine, as was noted, is possible only under conditions of controlled environmental factors.
To recall, earlier this week, Minister of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia Erik Grigoryan stated that the results of the 1952-1954 expedition were not taken into account when developing the Amulsar field. According to him, in the framework of the criminal case, the investigation will reveal whether this fact is an attempt to conceal the results of those studies, or is this an omission on the part of the state body. As the Minister noted, significant deviations were made in the implementation of the program. And if the company has the opportunity to change them, it must do so.
Earlier, the minister noted that if the company "Lydian Armenia", developing the deposit, concealed or falsified data on uranium reserves at "Amulsar", then this will lead to serious consequences for it. On September 5 of last year, the department addressed a letter to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, which noted the results of the Gromov expedition conducted in 1952-1954. The package, which concerns the presence of uranium, was sent to the Investigative Committee, and if it turns out that the research procedures by Lydian 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.
In his work "Uranium-bearing geological formations in Armenia>, the famous scientist, Doctor of Geological Sciences Petros Gevorkovich Aloyan, referring to the data of the Gromov expedition, noted that the Amulsar occurrence 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 sections of the Amulsar, and taking into account uranium in the thorium section, 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 a special government permit, 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, there is not a word about uranium.