Armenian Environmental Front Civic Initiative
As we know, numerous companies having the permit to develop mines or developing companies have remained unpunished for years for the violation of the Armenian laws and other legal acts.
On 25 December 2018, there is a very interesting draft resolution posted on e-draft.am on mine development. In this draft resolution, RA Ministry for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources is proposing to make changes in governmental resolution ''On Approving Exemplary Forms of Soil Management Contracts'' N 437-Ն dated on 22 March 2012.
If the government adopts this draft resolution, RA Minister for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources is granted a right to sign a new appendix to the contract upon the written proposal of the soil manager on the performance of new works by the soil manager conditioned with previously not planned circumstances.
In Ministry's opinion, previously not planned circumstances are as follows: essential change in mine reserves, significant changes in mining-geological and technical and economic conditions etc.
It is a fact that amendments mentioned in the project are such wide-scale and large changes, which imply environmental impact assessments, as well as technical safety expert assessments. The current Armenian legislation interprets such cases as amended projects and shall undergo all the procedures of a new mining project. While with the help of the ministry, the state exonerates mine owners from such huge obligations.
We claim that the draft resolution on making amendments to the governmental resolution exclusively serves the interests of the clan seizing the mines and factually legalizes their illegal actions.
As we know any business activity is based on due diligence, while in the case of mines due diligence must be performed strictly. Governmental bodies shall check the due diligence of the companies, including the options of fluctuations in metal prices, as well as the implementation of state risk assessments before issuing any permit.
Actually, it turns out that the companies can cheat the state and the Armenian people and won't be punished by fines and penalties for cheating, but by signing one appendix to the contract with the ministry continue enjoying their further unhidden plunder. In the same way, governmental bodies won't bear any responsibility for their inaction in the previous years but will get a green light.
We are proposing Government Head and Staff to prevent the presentation of such a draft at the Cabinet meeting. We are calling for the public to vote against this draft resolution at https://www.e-draft.am/projects/1444 and also write comments, as well as to apply any methods of public influence, which Armenian citizens are entitled to by the Armenian legislation and law norms.
17:08 January 16, 2019