Mine Users, Mines Are Not Your Own
Artur Hovhannisyan, the Hayatsq
On 290.5.2011 National Assembly deputy, businessman and Republican party member Tigran Arzakantzyan tried to deny the well-known article about him published on the hetq.am on 27 May 2011 and said, “They write together with Hovik Abrahamyan I have gold mines, but this mine is my own.”
In case of Arzakanztyan we speak about impermissibility to confuse state property with his own property. Armenian Code on Soil, Article 4, says “The soil of the Republic of Armenia is the exclusive property of the state which can be leased ad is not subject to privatization.”
On March 15 by the order of Vladimir Movsisyan, the Chairman of the Lake Sevan Issues by President of Armenia and Chairman of Lake Sevan Preservation Expert Committee of NAS RA, the committee conducted examinations of the pumice mine in Tsovak Community, Gegharkounik Region, as well as the crushing and sorting complex in Sotq mine which is in the process of construction.
The pumice mine located in the territory next to Tsovak Village starts its development in 1997 and is designed to meet the need of Sotq gold mining. This mine is not a small one, its length is about 60 meters, while the height is 12 meters. The committee has found out this ore has a high content of dust. According to Municipality information, “Toqmajo” LLC has transported about 500 square meters of pumice to Ararat cement Factory to use a trial additional material. Then in 2010 the company mined around 70,000 square meters of ore without any permitting documents prescribed by law.
I certainly wonder where the following bodies have been all this time and what kind of measures they have taken: Nature Protection Ministry of Armenia, State Environmental Inpection, Energy and Natural Resources Ministry, Gegharkounik Regional Prosecutor’s Office and Gegharkounik Regional Police Division, and eventually Regional Municipality Environmental Department. Whether they all haven’t seen the illegal development of such a huge mine or pretended not seeing for appropriate treatment?
Laboratory analyses show that this dust contains such heavy metals and toxic substances as lead and cadmium, and insignificant amount of radioactive thorium and uranium. But we speak not about several grams, but mining of 70,500 square meters of pumice. Moreover, the committee has concluded, “Ore has a high content of dust.” Whether Lake Sevan will be clean after all this..?
Examinations have also been conducted in regard with the crushing and sorting complex in Sotq. It turned out that the construction of the crushing and sorting complex was launched on 15 February 2011 without prescribed land allotment and approval of project documents. On the basis of abovementioned facts we call for the attention of Public Prosecutor’s office, particularly Department for Protection of State Interests.