Alaverdi Copper Smelting Plant Stopped Its Operation: Pollution Continues

Alaverdi Copper Smelting Plant Stopped Its Operation: Pollution Continues


Alaverdi Copper Smelting Plant has been suspended for more than a year. But the plant toxic emissions continue to accumulate in the environment. In 2018-2019, Czech “Arnika” organization in partnership with the Community Mobilization and Support Center NGO conducted soil, food and biomedical research to determine the concentration of heavy metals and toxic substances. The research was carried out in the residential areas of Alaverdi, Akhtala, Akori, Mets Ayrum, Tchotchkan, Haghpat, which are under the impact of Alaverdi Copper and Molybdenum Plant, Akhtala Ore Dressing Combine and Nahatak Tailing Dump.


Thus, chickens kept in the home are contaminated with dioxins and polychlorinated diphenyls. At the same time, the amount of detected dioxins and diphenyls is 2.5-8 times higher that the standards of the European Union and 1.5-5 times higher than those of Armenia.


In 2019, arsenic concentrations found in soil have exceeded threefold the concentrations detected in 2018.




The highest arsenic concentration was found in Tchotchkan at 146.8 mg/kg. According to Armenian standards, the permissible limit for arsenic concentration in soil is 2 mg/kg.




The highest concentration of lead was recorded in Akhtala community - 173.47 mg/kg. However, the Armenian standard is 32 mg/kg.




The highest concentration of cadmium was recorded in Akhtala community - 12.9 mg/kg.




The highest nickel concentration was found in the village of Aqori, at 16.31 mg/kg.


The highest concentration of mercury and lead (0.22 mg/kg) in the samples taken from foodstuffs was found in mallow and basil. High concentrations of mercury (0.65 mg/kg) were found in the hair of people living in a single house in Aqori. Czech experts said that the results of the research indicate high risks to health.


During a meeting in Yerevan, Colonel Karapet Karapetyan of RA Ministry of Emergency Situations mentioned that the high arsenic concentration may be due to Madan cemetery near Alaverdi community, which contains about 50,000 tons of arsenic. However, it should be noted that the highest arsenic concentration was found in Tchotchkan, which is quite far from Alaverdi community.


Head of Department of Epidemiology of National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of RA Ministry of Health Romella Abovyan informed that the Ministry of Health is developing a methodology to assess the impact of environmental factors on the human health.


During the meetings, "Chemical Pollution: Damascus Sword of the Population" video clip prepared by EcoLur was also screened.


December 10, 2019 at 16:59