MPs Beating Alarm Signal on Leaks from Akhtala Ore Processing Combine, But Akhtala Ore Processing Combine Claiming There Are No Leaks

MPs Beating Alarm Signal on Leaks from Akhtala Ore Processing Combine, But Akhtala Ore Processing Combine Claiming There Are No Leaks

EcoLur

On 24 January Armenian MP from 'Yelq' Faction Lena Nazaryan and Gevorg Gorgisyan eye-witnessed in Lori Region how the toxic leaks of Akhtala Ore Processing Combine (Akhtala OPC) flow into the environment and posted a video showing these leaks on Facebook.
 'Ayrum Tailing Dump is filled and the toxic tails flow into the Debed River through pipes, brooklets contaminating the land areas of their way. And it's only one spot of the leak. The same grey residue was under the trees in the land areas of the locals: we could see dry trees and a dead animal. Nothing is done to regulate this problem. A similar leak occurred one month ago. The situation here is neglected and there is an atmosphere of impunity. There are no guarantees that the problem will be solved: a crime is being committed during the daytime,' Lena Nazaryan said in her interview with EcoLur.
 
She mentioned she is going to file a report on crime to RA Prosecutor's Office to bring people in charge of polluting the environment to responsibility. MPs Lena Nazaryan and Gevorg Gorgisyan informed RA Nature Protection Minister Artsvik Minasyan about this problem. The MPs are going to meet Artsvik Minasyan and Head of Nature Protection and Soil Inspection Body Head Yeghishe Terteryan to discuss this problem and to inform about the further steps of the bodies in charge.
 
Environmental and Foreign Affairs Department Head of 'Akhtala Ore Processing Combine' CJSC Gagik Shahnazaryan in his interview with EcoLur denied the fact of a leak out of the combine tailing dump. 'There are two tailing dumps adjacent to Ayrum Village – the tailing dump located in the gorge also used for storing explosives and Nahatak tailing dump. I can assure you there was no leak out of the either tailing dump. These are the water of the drainage basin located in the upper section of the tailing dump and rainwater flowing next to the tailing dump and get out under the engineering constructions,' Gagik Shahnazaryan said. He mentioned they carry out inspections every day to detect the problems and to eliminate them.
 
In 2009 'Akhtala Ore Processing Combine' CJSC expanded and re-operated it. In 2015 the administration of 'Akhtala Ore Processing Combine' CJSC intended to construct a new tailing dump on the agricultural land areas of 12.10684 ha of Mets Ayrum and 27.98901 ha of Tchotchkan in Lori Region, as Nahatak Tailing dump was already full. The local residents and environmentalists opposed to this initiative of the company, and, as a result, the process was frozen. In 2017 'Akhtala Ore Processing Combine' CJSC stated that the remaining capacity of Nahatak tailing dump will enable to operate Akhtala Ore Processing Combine for only one year. The company submitted a project to RA Nature Protection Ministry, where it refused from its intention to construct a new tailing dump and proposed to store the tails in Shamlugh open mine.
 
Environmental and Foreign Affairs Department Head of 'Akhtala Ore Processing Combine' CJSC informed EcoLur that the operation of Nahatak tailing dump will be stopped in 3-4 months and the tails will be dried out and stored in the open mine area in Shamlugh. Under Gagik Shahnazaryan, the reclaiming of Nahatak tailing dump is planned to carry out between 2018 and 2019.

15:39 January 25, 2018


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