Independent experts continue to deny the compliance of “Environmental Impact Assessment” (EIA) and “Environmental and Social Impact Assessment” (ESIA) of Amulsar project to the European and international standards. Though the stakeholders of Amulsar project “Lydian International” company and its main shareholders European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and International Financial Corporation (IFC) insist that the compliance is provided in the documents of EIA and ESIA. Seyran Minasyan, international expert in environmental impact monitoring, researcher at the Institute of the Chemical Physics of RA NAS, discovered that in the documents of Amulsar project there are serious shortcomings which can influence on the results of all Amulsar project realization.
The impact of mine dust. “ In Armenia we have another gold mine situated on nearly the same heights from where dust spreads up to 30 km in different ways and not up to 1 or 0.5 km as it is mentioned in the documents of the company. That is, all the ways of dust scattering were not assessed in the model and the latter is incomplete. And the measures are also mentioned incompletely. …The impact on the quality of crops and fertility is not assessed. I have an environment survey of another similar mine situated on the same height when the dust scattering from the mine and tailing dump contaminated the harvest of orchards to such an extent that it is not suitable for use. There is also decrease of fertility. … I think that it is the most important issue because it mustn’t be so that agriculture disappears from that area with a diameter of dozens of kilometers. …
The impact on pastures and wild plants is not assessed, that is there is no assessment of impact on ecosystem services. The impact on the food used by people and herbs and berries is not also assessed. And they adopted this …”.
The impact on Jermuk mineral water. “Amulsar mine is situated near Jermuk mineral waters. The company ordered very expensive researches and according to the results of those researches they came to a conclusion that the exploitation of the mine has no impact on the quality of Jermuk mineral water. But Jermuk mineral water mine has such a great importance for the population of our country and our state that we shouldn’t base on the results of only one research. … Besides, those researches must be continued throughout the mine exploitation and even after it. … I, as a specialist, have doubts that the mineral body has an impact on the composition of Jermuk mineral water because the researches of Jermut water conducted in different seasons show a slight change in the composition and in certain seasons the concentration of arsenic varies. And therefore, we can insist on conducting the researches because if Amulsar gold has any finite number and has a certain value I think that Jermuk mine has no price”.
The reference state of source sectors of Arpa and Vorotan rivers is assessed incompletely. “The source sectors of Armenia’s two river basins, Vorotan and Arpa, are very close to Amulsar mine and are under mining impact. The background state of the source states is assessed incompletely taking into account not only the framework directive methodology of European water but also American methodology. I will state two indicators: the biomonitoring data of bottom sediments of source sectors are incomplete, because, for example, the most important indicators such as the data of macroinvertebrates are missing at all, and in the water framework directive the first indicator of water biomonitoring is just that. The second indicator such as the chemical composition of bottom sediments wasn’t even known at the moment when the company had to assess it as a reference background state so that we could follow the upcoming changes”.
11:30 November 24, 2015