Lydian Armenia CJSC (“Lydian Armenia”) has received formal notification from the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Armenia that pursuant to the criminal investigation into alleged withholding of information by employees of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, an international consultancy group, Earth Link, and Advanced Resources Development (“ELARD”) has been selected to review all subject matter covered by Lydian’s EIA/ESIA, to determine the possibility of harmful impacts by the Amulsar Project and the validity of preventative and mitigation measures, Lydian International said in a press release.
However the contract award to ELARD is subject to state funding and therefore the audit start date has not yet been announced. The audit is expected to take up to 12 weeks to complete.
The following terms of reference were given to ELARD:
- Water resources impact assessment;
- Geology impact assessment;
- Biodiversity impact assessment;
- Air quality impact assessment;
- Unprejudiced clarification of technical issues raised by the decision to commission a complex expert examination.
Environmental Activist vs Lydian Armenia:
All roads leading to the Amulsar deposit have been blocked since June 23 2018 by activists of civil society and a group of residents of nearby communities protesting against gold mining operations planned there by the Lydian International company.
Environment protection groups said that the Amulsar project, if implemented, will contaminate air, water and soil in the area. They also point to the site’s proximity to Jermuk, the country’s most popular spa resort.
Note that residents of Amulsar’s surrounding communities emigrate, as the roads are still blocked, Lydian Armenia company informed.
Lydian informs that because the roads to the Amulsar continue to be illegally blocked, Lydian Armenia and its contractors had to lay off over 1300 of their employees over the last 6 months.
Approximately 460 of the employees were from the Amulsar’s surrounding communities. Lydian continues to monitor the social situation in these communities.
Volunteers Maintain Vigil at Amulsar Mine Site:
It has been seven months now that volunteers have been on duty day and night, keeping the four main roads leading to the Amulsar mine site closed.
They are mainly residents from the communities of Jermuk, Gndevaz and Kechut. Their demands and goal of stopping the gold project remain the same. Environmentalists and other supporters join the Amulsar “protectors” from different parts of Armenia.
Despite the cold weather and harsh conditions, the mood in Amulsar is always positive and the volunteers’ spirits remain strong.
EL ARED AUDIT REPORT: THE HOPE
By this crucial decision of the government, Armenian people especially the civil society hope that ELARD Consulting Company will conduct a deep and successful environmental audit of Lydian’s Amulsar project, which was requested by those concerned with the project’s environmental impact and which must be standard practice for such projects. Environmental activists hope that it will be carried out in strict accordance with the law, engaging professional and impartial expertise. They also expect that these audits and investigations will be unilaterally applied across the mining sector in the country.
First, we published a photo of Jermuk from the website Armecofront.net (The bad impact of Amulsar on Jermuk resort) but after unprofessional comments we replace it with another photo from France24.com – Check the link HERE
Related Article: ELARED in Yerevan for Amulsar Social – Environmental Assesment