Armenia premier discusses Amulsar gold mine project

Armenia premier discusses Amulsar gold mine project

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on Saturday chaired—at the government of Armenia—a regular discussion on the state of affairs with respect to the Amulsar gold mine project, News.am reports.

Heads of the concerned Armenian departments, representatives of the PM’s office, as well as the management of Lydian International and Lydian Armenia companies participated in this talk.

The parties conferred on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Amulsar Project and the respective obligations which Lydian company has assumed, conclusion of the international expertise by ELARD company, environmental impact monitoring, inspections, and several other related matters.

The American-British Lydian Armenia company began construction of the Amulsar gold mine in 2016, announcing it will invest more than $400 million in this project.

Environmentalists, however, have kept the roads to Amulsar closed for a long time. They oppose Amulsar’s operation, and argue that the exploitation of this gold mine will have a disastrous impact on the environment.

In 2019, the Armenian government petitioned to the ELARD consulting firm of Lebanon for an expert conclusion on Amulsar. The government announced that it will make a final decision on Amulsar’s operation only after receiving this conclusion.

Subsequently, the ELARD expert conclusion stated that environmental risks will be manageable if proper monitoring is carried out at Amulsar.

But following a recent videoconference with ELARD experts, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on Facebook that several new circumstances had emerged during this videoconference, and which need to be investigated and assessed.

And he instructed the Ministry of Environment to decide whether the Amulsar gold mine project needs to undergo a new EIA.

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