Public Hearings of EIA of Shorzha Magnesium-Silicate and Chromite Ores Mine
Liana Asoyan – Gavar Aarhus Center Coordinator, Satenik Badeyan – TDSC NGO Chairman, www.aarhus.am
The public hearings on the EIA of working project of opencast development of Shorzha meagnesium-silicate and chormite ores mine were held in Shorzha Community on 30 October. About 60 people took part in these public hearings.
Sh. Khachatryan, Head of 'Geology and Prospecting Department' at Gegamet Plus Company, mentioned that the total amount of reserves of these three ores is estimated nearly 22 million tons, the demand for these ores in our country annually makes up 120,000 tons for now, in future arrangements will be made for the export of ores.
According to S. Goginyan, geologist at Gegamet Plus Company, the open mines will be developed simultaneously, as the mixture from two different mines is needed to obtain a cement of proper quality.
At this moment there is need of 11 workers and specialists in the mines, as soon as income is made the number of employees will make up 300, they plan to have 260 working days per year.
The main environmental impact is the dust, which will be spread in a radius of 1 km. The company proposes to recover changes in the landscpae by recultivation works. The ore contains chrome, about 400,000 tons. They will be crushed and sorted, as they are also a product of the company.
Aarhus Center Coordinator Liana Asoyan raised a question that the plant plans to process raw materials, which contradicts to RA Law 'On Lake Sevan'. The answer was as follows: this is not a plant, but a crushing and sorting comples, where water is used to facilitate crushing process, while the raw materials will be transferred to Ararat.
Karine Movsisyan, specialist from 'Environmental Expertise' of Nature Protection Ministry noted that the presented project is unique for Armenia with its clean and waste-free technology and minimum negative impact on environment.
Despite developers' assurances that risks are almost absent, the NGOs raised a question that in any case there would be dust emission under the project, as well as other harmful emissions, which impact on Lake Sevan such as dust – 4 tons per year, СО – 0.1-0.6 tons per year, hydrocarbons– 0.03-0.1 ton per year, nitrogen dioxide – 0.04 tons per year, soot – 0.58 -15.5 kg per year, sulphur dioxide – 0.0002-0.02 ton per year, lead – 0.3 kg per year.
Photo by Liana Asoyan