On 30 July public hearings on “Sotq Gold Open Mining Project” submitted by Geopromining Gold Company were held in Sotq village. The project doesn’t point out existing and expected risks, as well as their elimination measures:
1. CSP is an ore processing object, which significantly increases harmful impact on environment taking into consideration it is located in the drainage area of Lake Sevan and contradicts to RA Law “On Lake Sevan”.
2. CSP is constructed and has been operating since 2011 without any permitting documents. Nevertheless, this object is included in the project of “Sotq Gold Open Mining Project”, which is only now undergoing the procedure of receiving environmental impact expert assessment. This is a gross violation of RA Law “On Environmental Impact Expert Assessment”, which refers to projected and not current activities.
3. The project says that the wastes formed due to ore processing will be used as road-building materials that is for fortification and repair roads. That is, the company gets rid of its tails, as a matter of fact, through spreading it along roads. This is a gross violation of environmental safety prescribed by documents signed by the Armenian government, OSCE and UNEP.
4. The project doesn’t reflect the actual situation on the existing Lake Sevan basin pollution, confirmed by pollution of Sotq and Masrik rivers with heavy and toxic metals.
5. The conclusion of Nature Protection Ministry working group on examination of situation in Sotq as regards with the lawfulness of locating a CSP and its impact on the drainage basin in Sevan was not presented at the public hearings on 30 July.
We demand to reject Geopromining Gold is issuing a positive environmental impact expert assessment, to carry out an inspection based on the aforementioned facts and to draw up an act and to apply appropriate sanctions towards Geopromining Gold and to dismantle the CSP.
19:02 August 09, 2012