YEREVAN — The Armenian government has been granted a 12.5% minority stake in the Lydian Armenia Company, which operates the Amulsar gold mine.
Deputy Minister of Economy Ani Ispiryan clarified that accepting these shares as a gift does not impose any financial obligations on the state.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan expressed his optimism, stating, “We anticipate that the Amulsar mine will serve as a catalyst for implementing new standards in the mining sector.”
Pashinyan affirmed the government’s commitment to revitalizing the mine, which is projected to create hundreds of jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenue. He stated, “I believe that this model of operating the Amulsar mine will address many concerns and stimulate Armenia’s economic growth and development. We also aspire for the Amulsar mine to set new benchmarks for our mining industry.”
On February 22, 2023, a trilateral memorandum of understanding was signed between the Armenian government, the Eurasian Development Bank, and Lydian Armenia CJSC. In accordance with this agreement, the parties pledged to invest approximately $150 million in the development of the Amulsar gold mine.
Under the terms of the memorandum, the Armenian government was entitled to receive 12.5% of the company’s shares. Following the memorandum’s signing, Economy Minister Vahan Kerobyan projected that the exploitation of the Amulsar mine would contribute 30-40 billion drams in annual revenues to the state budget.
However, on December 14, Senior Executive Director of the Eurasian Development Bank, Denis Ilyin, stated that the final decision regarding investment in the Amulsar deposit had not been reached.
The Amulsar gold mine is Armenia’s second-largest gold mine in terms of pure gold reserves. It is situated in the southeast of the country, 13 kilometers from the resort town of Jermuk, nestled between the Arpa and Vorotan rivers. The deposit is estimated to contain approximately 31 million tons of ore and 40 tons of pure gold.
Lydian Armenia, established in 2005 as a 100% subsidiary of Lydian Canada Ventures, is owned by the US-based Orion Mine Finance and Canada’s Osisko Gold Royalties. However, the full development of the Amulsar deposit has been hindered by protests from environmentalists and nearby community residents.