What are the investment funds of Amulsar gold mine project spent? This question was raised at the meeting of CAO/IFC (the Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman) experts with SOS Amulsar group in Yerevan, who had arrived to investigate the complaints lodged by SOS Amulsar and Gndevaz Villagers, Vayots Dzor Region, on the incompliance of Amulsar project risks with the IFC standards. IFC is 7.9% shareholder of 'Lydian International Limited' Company, which is implementing Amulsar project. First of all, it was focused that it's already fourth time since 'Geoteam' CJSC, the subsidiary of 'Lydian International Limited' Company, has submitted Amulsar Projct EIA for the expertise of Nature Protection Ministry, every time making amendments to it. The first time it was submitted in 2009, then in 2012, third time it was in 2014 and the last time it was in 2016. Without developing Amulsar mine during these 10 years, the company has directed money to the foundations, which don't have any relation with the project. According to the report of 'Luys' foundation for 2014, 'Geoteam' CJSC, the subsidiary of 'Lydian International Limited' Company, donated the foundation 121.925.000 AMD (around US $ 256,000. The founders of 'Luys' foundation are Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Tigran Sargsyan - Ex PM, currently the Chairman of EEU Economic Committee. Since 2011 the Aldermen's Council of Jermuk Town and the residents have demanded from the comapny to recognize Jermuk as the immediate impact zone of Amulsar project. Even a case was filed to court. Jermuk resident Victoria Grigoryan had issued a claim to Administrative Court, but her claim was rejected. According to the report of 'Socio-economic Development Support to Jermuk Town' Foundation for 2013-2014, the foundation has received around 56359123 AMD (around US $120,000) from 'Geoteam' CJSC. The head of this foundation is Gevorg Hovahnnisyan, Jermuk Mayor Vardan Hovhannisyan's son. In 2016 'Geoteam' CJSC submitted a new EISA to 'Environmental Expertise' SNCO of Nature Protection Ministry, where Jermuk has been included as a project-affected community. 'It doesn't say even a word, to what extent the mining will be detrimental for Jermuk as a tourism city and it doesn't take into consideration that we lose organic agriculture, and not just land areas of agricultural significance. No assessment has been carried out in regard with Jermuk, how the engative impact will affect on the investments. Jermuk has two problems: impact on mineral water and what we will lose as a tourism town, as it's the only resort town in Armenia and people come here to get treatment,' a local resident said.
11:34 May 11, 2016