The planned mining at the gold deposit in Amulsar mountain near Armenia’s southern resort town of Jermuk poses major environmental risks, Lusine Taslakyan, a water policy and management expert and a doctoral research assistant in the Department of Soil and Water Systems at the U.S. University of Idaho, said on Saturday.
Armenia’s Ministry of Economy, the Eurasian Development Bank and Lydian Armenia, a subsidiary of the U.S.-British Lydian International, on February 22 signed a memorandum for $250 million to complete construction work at the Amulsar gold mine and purchase the necessary equipment.
“The Amulsar mining project poses major risks. Specialists have repeatedly warned about it, we are not “inventing the wheel” now, but everyone should know about it,” she said in an interview to Panorama.am.
The expert particularly warned the development of the gold mine would put Armenia’s water resources at risk given a high probability of acid mine drainage. It could pollute the groundwater of Jermuk and its springs and even Lake Sevan.
“The mountain positioning makes it impossible to avoid threats to water resources, as it is close to the Arpa, Vorotan, Darb Rivers, let alone Jermuk’s mineral waters,” Taslakyan said.
“The mining operations in the area would force Jermuk residents to leave their homes as it would make life impossible there,” she stressed.
March 20, 2023 at 12:12