Expert Shahen Khachatryan: Documents Submitted by Lydian Not Sufficient To Exclude Amulsar Project Impact on Freshwater Resources of Arpa Basin and Mineral Water Resources

Expert Shahen Khachatryan: Documents Submitted by Lydian Not Sufficient To Exclude Amulsar Project Impact on Freshwater Resources of Arpa Basin and Mineral Water Resources

EcoLur

The facts submitted by Lydian Armenia Company are not sufficient to exclude the impact of Amulsar mining on the freshwater resources of Arpa basin and the resources of the mineral water, this is what the opinion by Shahen Khachatryan says, Head of Chair, YSU Faculty of Geography and Geology - Chair of Historical and Regional Geology, Associate Professor, PhD in Geological Sciences, sent to the Armenian Government.

Reminder: the working group adjunct to RA Environmental and Mining Inspection Body established by Armenian PM's order submitted 8 different expert opinions on Amulsar gold-bearing quartzite deposit.

OPINION

On the examinations carried out in Amulsar mine area by Lydian Armenia in the frames of their EIA and ESIA.  

In the frames of the EIA and ESIA, Lydian Armenia Company made a conclusion that Amulsar mining won't have any physical impact on Jermuk mineral water. The facts brought by Lydian are not sufficient to exclude the impact of Amulsar mining on the freshwater resources of Arpa basin and the resources of the mineral water.

The isotope studies conducted by Lydian confirm the circumstance that the geothermal water in Jermuk actively interacts with atmospheric water. Nevertheless, it doesn't explain how and in what ways the atmospheric water penetrate into the mineral water basin. It should also be added that the mentioned artesian basin is located between Vardenis and Zangezour mountain ranges and the water inflow occurs through them.

The fact that the chemical composition of mineral water and freshwater is different is has been known since the beginning of the 20th century, nevertheless, the differences in the chemical compositions of water don't serve as a ground to assume about the absence of their connection in etymology.

To find out the springs of thermal water, Lydian conducted an isotope study in 2013 (EIA, p. 170.)

Two groundwater samples were taken from Amulsar slopes and compared with the spring water of 300º C in the drinking hall, Jermuk Town. The interactions of deuterium, tritium, oxygen, and carbon have been determined in the three samples taken.

Lydian makes a conclusion based on one sampling and the values of isotope interaction in only three samples that the mineral water of Jermuk has no physical connection with Amulsar water. It should be mentioned that such an approach is impermissible to respond to such a global issue: first of all, the sampling should have been carried out in the course of at least one hydrological cycle, and, second, sampling should have been carried out also from the other springs of the drinking hall, which have higher temperatures and come from lower depths.

As a matter of fact, the isotope studies made by Lydian didn't give anything, except for the fact that these studies confirm the abundant inflow of atmospheric water into Jermuk geothermal water basin, which means that the composition of geothermal water can undergo changes depending on the amount of atmospheric precipitation.

What about flowing of groundwater and surface water, running towards north from Amulsar, into the Arpa River near Kechout reservoir or below it, it should be mentioned that annually 4-5 million m3 drainage water of Amulsar flows directly into Kechout reservoir through Spandaryan-Kechout tunnel. Here it should be mentioned that there are yields of the mineral water into this tunnel as well.

The second most important issue not covered by Lydian refers to the landslides on Amulsar slopes (Pic. 2). We speak about Ughedzor landslide field, which is in direct vicinity to Saravan-Gorhayq highway. They are in slow progress, as a result of which different sections of Saravan-Gorhayq highway have undergone deformations of different degrees.

Lydian Company hasn't assessed all the risks impacting the landslides, which can have generated during the mining.

Thus, Lydian company hasn't properly assessed the potential impacts of Amulsar mining on the regional freshwater and mineral water basins, as well as those on the landslides in Ughedzor landslide field.

17:12 October 22, 2018


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