EcoLur has sent an inquiry to Suren Papikyan, RA Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures (TAI), which says:
“Dear Mr. Minister,
“EcoLur” NGO is implementing “Liability of Non-operating Mining Companies in EITI Process” project with the USAID support within the frames of “Engaged Citizenry for Responsible Governance” project implemented by Transparency International Anticorruption Center.
The aim of this project is to increase the responsibility of companies having been issued metal mining permits, but not operating, for performing the obligations stipulated in soil management contracts and other other mining licenses, to promote their responsibility and accountability towards the impacted communities. Based on the facts revealed within the framework of the project, a report and proposals aimed at the sectorial reforms will be drafted, which will be submitted to the Multi-Stakeholder Group of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative of Armenia.
As it is known the vast majority of mining companies holding mining licenses of 28 metal mines with soil management permits do not carry out the development of the mines handed over to them, thus defaulting on the financial and social obligations towards the state and the affected communities they have undertaken to enjoy this right.
Based on the abovementioned, guided by Article 6 of RA Law on Freedom of Information, we would like to ask you to provide the following information as of July 2020:
1. The list of companies that do not exercise the right to develop metal mines and reasons for non-operation of each of them;
2. The list of companies in the process of bankruptcy, the stage of the bankruptcy process;
3. The list of companies whose rights have been terminated or suspended by your orders, indicating the legal grounds for the termination of each of their activities;
4. What is the policy pursued by the Ministry in the following areas in terms of?:
a) rational-complex use of state resources, in particular, metallic minerals;
b) measures of enforcement applied upon these companies in case of defaulting on state obligations;
c) introduction of control mechanisms over the performance of the obligations stipulated in the soil management documents by the companies;
d) reduction of the adverse impact of their activities on nature and environment during the development of metal mines and enforcement of mechanisms for their elimination;
e) mandatory performance of the obligations laid down in soil management contracts undertaken in the field of mitigation of the social impact of the mines in the communities affected with the mining operations and raw material processing by the mining companies;
f) renewal of soil management contracts that do not contain terms on social obligations to the affected communities (Appendix No. 3 to the contract);
g) Who, how and with what financial means the obligations on reclamation of the mines developed by companies recognized as bankrupt will be performed?”
15:28 July 28, 2020