Letter to Ministries: Gladzor and Vernashen Communities Don't Give Their Consent to Gladzor Polymetllic Mining Project

Letter to Ministries: Gladzor and Vernashen Communities Don't Give Their Consent to Gladzor Polymetllic Mining Project


Gladzor and Vernashen Communities don't agree to Gladzor polymetallic mining project in Vayots Dzor Region. In this regard, the community heads of both communities have sent to RA Ministry for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources and RA Nature Protection Ministry.
'A meeting was held at Gladzor Middle School Hall with the representatives of 'Vayq Metal' LLC at 17:00 on 18 July 2017 for the purpose of giving a prior consent to the first stage of preliminary hearings of Gladzor polymetallic underground mining with the participation of the community residents. During the hearings, most of the residents voted against the underground mining and demanded not to issue a relevant license and other permitting documents to 'Vayq Metal' Company.'

Substantiation is as follows: the metals and elements available in Gladzor ore contain serious risks for the environment and human health in its geological prospecting and operation stages.

According to the anticipated data, the content of lead in the mine is 861.5 thousand tons.
'Lead exposure and measure of IQ level among children in Alaverdi, Akhtala and Yerevan' Research by Siran Grboyan, AUA, 2014, says (http://aua.am/chsr/UserFiles/File/new/Thesis%202013/Grboyan%20Siran_%202014.pdf ), 'The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies lead compounds as probable human carcinogens. Some studies show the relationship between lead exposure and cancers of the lung, stomach, brain, kidney, bladder, colon and rectum.'

The concentration of sulphur is also high in the ore – 3405500 tons. In its free state, the sulphur in the medium of oxygen and humidity generates sulphuric acid, which dissolves the salts of heavy metals and poses a serious threat for the groundwater basin when penetrating into the soil, while the contamination of surface water is obvious.

All the apple, grape, apricot orchards located in the area adjacent to the mine are irrigated with the water flowing from Gladzor mine, as there are no other springs. The drinking water also comes from the mine area.

The mining will pollute Her-Her River, on which Her-Her reservoir is constructed, where fish farming is dealt with. Then this water will be dumped into the Arpaget, i.e. the Arpa River will also be contaminated. The Mailshka River will also get polluted, as it flows directly out of the mine slope, while Malishka Village is also located downwards, which will also suffer and hinder the development of our region.

Besides agriculture, tourism is also being developed in our region. We have valuable cultural and historical monuments such as the Spitakavor Monastery, the Proshaberd, the Tanade Monastery, Gladzor University etc. Tourism may bring much more income than the working places created by the mining industry.

The Yeghegnadzor reserve is located only in a distance of 650 meters from the mine edge, which is a habitat for red-listed bezoar goat and moufflon and other species, which will promote the introduction of programs aimed at developing tourism,' the letters say.
'Vernashen Community only annually received 300-360 million AMD income from its agricultural activities. Mining will deprive us of this source of income,' another letter says.
Eventually, they say that Gladzor and Vernashen communities don't give consent to any mining activities, either for carrying out geological prospecting or mine development.

17:56 August 10, 2017

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