At the public hearings held on 26 September, Sotq Community gave its agreement to 'GeoProMining Gold' Company to proceed to the underground mining after exhausting the reserves in Sotq open mine. As Sotq Community Head Kolik Shahsuvaryan said in his interview with EcoLur, the community gave its consent provided that the company minimizes the mining-related pollution of soil, air and water.
'During three years the open mine shall be closed down and gradually proceed to closed mining. The open mine has a greater impact on the environment: dust leaves its residue on hundreds of hectares of areas having an adversary effect on flora and fauna. In case of closed mining, the adversary effect and pollution significantly reduce, and it's the main reason why the community agreed. Closed mining will mainly affect our water: our irrigation water will come from the natural springs of the mine area and the mine wells. The company promised us to construct retention basins to clean the water. We know that the mining causes certain damage, but they are implementing projects for us, pay land tax and pay environmental fees. We agree to incur certain damage, but to live in our native country, not to leave it,' Kolik Shahsuvaryan said.
Still two public hearings should be held on the project of Sotq underground mining so as RA Nature Protection Ministry to issue its opinion on this project.
18:08 September 26, 2017