Children Swim in River Not Suspecting about Ore Processing Plant Wastes in Water
Bright orange fluid in the canal is the wastes of Armanis ore processing combine. The canal flows along the section of Stepanavan – Armanis Village road. Armanis gold mine, ore processing plant and tailing dump are located in the territory of the village. The gold is mined by “Sagamar” company, a subsidiary of “Neva-Rus” Company. When presenting the operation of the company to the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, Investment Director of ‘Neva-Rus’ representation in Armenia (“Global Metals” Company) assured that “Sagamar” is the first enterprise using Canadian and German technologies, which bring environmental pollution to minimum.
When looking at the pollution of Dzoraget River with wastes, the liquid of unknown composition flowing through the canal, dumps spread along the road, one may assure that either German and Canadian companied didn’t justify themselves or they were replaced. It’s already two years since local “Lore” Ecoclub has been raising the issues of technology quality, river pollution and dust emissions 1-2 far away from Stepanavan resort town. Nevertheless, no real responses have been to these alarm signals. Emissions usually take place from Thursday to Friday before the weekend. The activists immediately call on the hot line of Nature Protection Ministry and ask them to send an inspection. Alarm signals are accepted, however, the inspection doesn’t arrive. EcoLur was explained at the Ministry that the inspection can respond to alarm signals only upon the assignment of Minister Aram Harutyunyan. So it turns out, if the Minister is on holiday or at the weekend, the inspection is helpless in front of violators. The enterprise will undergo examinations in 2010, and apparently, on the planned day of examination, the combine will specially conduct a number of emissions into river.
While all these actions are planned, tourists rest in the gorge of the river. Their children swim in the water without suspecting that the plant belches toxic at the end of the gorge.
Photo by Manya Melikjanyan