YEREVAN (Arka) — A protest was staged Thursday outside the government building in Yerevan. The protesters, unhappy about the international expert group’s conclusion released Wednesday, demanded the government not to give its consent for re-launching Amulsar gold mine’s operation. Experts have found no uncontrollable risks and threats to environment.
One day earlier, a spontaneous rally took place in Jermuk, a popular resort town located near the gold mine. Local residents gathered to express their discontent with the experts’ opinion.
Local environmental activists fear that the commissioning of this mine may pollute underground waters of Jermuk and later Lake Sevan, and this may trigger a large-scale environmental disaster with irreparable consequences.
The Amulsar gold mine operation, run by Lydian Armenia, was ceased more than six months ago on the initiative of the Armenian authorities, which ordered an expert examination and conclusion on impacts on environment in Jermuk and Sevan.
On July 20,2018, the Special Investigative Committee of Armenia opened a criminal case over intentional suppression of environment pollution facts by officials of the Armenian environment ministry.
In February 2019, the Armenian government decided to allocate $396,900 to the Investigative Committee from the reserve fund for providing this money to Earth link & Advanced Resources Development (ELARD) for conducting a comprehensive examination as part of the mentioned criminal case.
Lydian Armenia, established in 2005, is a gold field developer company owned by Lydian International LLC.
The Amulsar is the second biggest gold field in Armenia. It contains 31 million tons of ore and 40 tons of pure gold.