Regular Occurrence or Coincidence: During Vardan Ayvazyan’s Office Transfer of Mining Assets Launched to Russian Companies?
Vardan Ayvazyan, Ex Nature Protection Minister and MP from RPA gave a press conference on Facebook social network organized by “Azatutyun” Radio. The material is displayed on azatutyun.am website. The main topic of the press conference is the sensational scandal caused by the verdict of New York court to seize US 37,538 million from Vardan Ayvazyan in favor of Global Gold Mining Company. In course of Q&A session Vardan Ayvazyan didn’t change his position (about non-substantiation of the judgment). For our part, we would like to raise issues, which were not presented at the press conference due to technical reasons.
1. The biggest enterprise in Armenia – Zangezour Copper and Molybdenum Combine, was privatized during Vardan Ayvazyan’s ministerial office, which was sold together with the assets of Qajaran copper and molybdenum mine for a song– US 4 million, when the reserves of raw materials were estimated from 15 to 20 billion USD. It’s known that Cronimet Company, the main investor for ZCMC, didn’t have any experience in mining industry, but dealt with refinement of scrap metal. It’s unknown what kind of capital and which country’s capital was invested into this transaction, as such kind of transactions are commercial secrets according to the terms. Who was the author of this proposal? Whether Vardan Ayvazyan was the co-author of the proposal, or just the implementer as an official?
2. In due time, Vardan Ayvazyan made a number of heavy allegations addressed to mining companies operating in Armenia. Vedanta Recourses Company, developing Sotq gold mine, was alleged of concealment of gold (in different time periods from 1 ton to 3 ton gold were mentioned). After a short time, Vedanta Recourses sold a part of its shares to the Russian company, which is now operating in Armenia named Geopromining Gold and has the assets of Sotq and Meghradzor mines and Ararat gold extracting factory. Geopromining Group has another enterprise – Agarak copper and molybdenum combine and assets of Agarak copper and molybdenum mine.
3. Global Gold Mining Company was accused of violating the terms of liencse for geological prospecting in the area of the Getik River, when the company declared there are indications of uranium. The Ministry stated that uranium is a strategic raw material and the company has no right for its prospecting. In reply, the company refused from its earlier statements on uranium, though nobody is entitled to forbid the company to do the sampling and analyze for the presence of the whole range of metals and elements and to publicize these results.
In 2007 the negotiations with Russian “Atomredmedzoloto” CJSC launched and an agreement was concluded on monopoly to prospect, explore and mine uranium in Armenia as represented by Armenian-Russian Mining Organization.
4. “Neva-Rus” Company owned Armanis mine.
5. Teghout mine was obtained by Valeri Mejlumyan (Vallex Group Company), a citizen of the Russian Federation.
A question by EcoLur: whether the regular occurrence and political implication of all this process were determined?