Nikol Pashinyan: If Claims about Dam of Teghout Tailing Dump Were True, It Should Have Collapsed Because of Quake Occurred Yesterday

Nikol Pashinyan: If Claims about Dam of Teghout Tailing Dump Were True, It Should Have Collapsed Because of Quake Occurred Yesterday


“At the end of July, there were rumors that the tailing dump in Teghut was on the verge of collapse and could collapse at any moment. Let me say at once that if those claims were true, the dam at Teghut tailing dump should have collapsed (or at least cracked, deformed) the day before, because there were 2-4 magnitude earthquakes in the mine area," PM Nikol Pashinyan wrote on his Facebook page.

“This is what I mean when I say go after the truth to the end. In those days, there was a lot of pressure on the government to stop the Teghut mine. If we did so, more than 900 people would still be unemployed, and the unexploited mine would become a bigger problem because there would be no entity responsible for making claims. The inspectors went in and carried out a thorough inspection, concluding that there was no danger of the dam collapsing and that the earthquake of the previous day proved the claim to be true. Thereafter, the mine operator was required to carry out tailings dam expertise and ensure its long-term safety. If this condition is met, the mine will be exploited, no matter how much I like it,” PM noted.

Reminder: in July 2019 Vallex Group announced about the risk of the self-collapse Teghout tailing dump noting that the company currently has no control over the Teghout Complex and cannot be held responsible for its consequences. The company said it information about the tailing dump problems to the government. However, Teghout copper and molybdenum mine was reopened on July 9, 2019.

According to Lori Regional Administration, the company was granted permission to mine on July 8 to produce 7 million tonnes of ore annually, implying a 15-20 year mine life. In August the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia informed that a contract had already been signed with a Bulgarian company to carry out the necessary examination to check the sustainability of the dam. The company has announced that work will start on the first days of September when Bulgarian specialists arrive and the results will be ready within the next 7-8 months.

Formerly owned by Vallex Group, Teghout CJSC suspended operation of Teghout mine on January 12, 2018. It became known that the property of Teghout CJSC is pledged to the Russian VTB Bank. Now the company is owned by the bank.

12:47 September 12, 2019


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