Arevik National Park Endangered: "Tatstone" Intends To Develop Litchq Copper Mine

Arevik National Park Endangered: "Tatstone" Intends To Develop Litchq Copper Mine


"Tatstone" LLC intends to develop Litchq copper mine in opencast manner. On 14 August 2015, at 13:00, the public hearings on the environmental impact assessment of Litchq copper mine, Syunik Region, submitted by "Tatstone" LLC will be held in Litchq Rural Municipality.

Reminder: "Tatstone" LLC was issued a positive opinion by “Environmental Expertise” SNCO of Nature Protection Ministry on 23 January 2013 for the development of Litchq mine, but it expired within one year because of not implementing mine development project. According to "Tatstone" LLC, the mine hasn’t been developed, as they re-estimated mine reserves.

According to the project, no red-listed species have been detected in the mine areas, though it describes the rich biodiversity and red-listed species in Meghri area. The nature conservation in Meghri area is carried out through “Arevik” national park, a part of “Zangezour Biospheric Complex” SNCO. The project says, “The area of planned activities may have relation only with the conservation zone of “Arevik” national park.” (page 21)

The mine will be developed in two stages.

The total oxidized ore volumes account for 2.7 million/m3. Around 40 ha area will be totally used for the open pit. The annual productivity of the open pit will make up 1 million tons. The open pit will be developed for around 40 years. This project is for the first stage of mine development.

At the initial stage of mine development it’s planned to use only mixes and suphide oreс,  which will be transported with trucks to the ore dressing plant of “Zangezour Copper and Molybdenum Combine CJSC” to produce copper concentrate.

It’s planned to store oxidize ore till developing a safer and environmentally-friendly technology for their processing. As the project says, metal extraction form oxidized ores with heap leaching method is not desirable from environmental viewpoint. Nevertheless, the project doesn’t say where oxidized ores of 2.7 million/m3 will be stored. Around 34 ha area will be used for the dumps in two stages of mine development. The volume of 2 dumps will account for around 10 million/m3.

The main water unit in the region is the Meghri River. Project affected communities are Litchq and Tashtoun.

 The project didn’t say anything about the risks threatening to people and environment. It doesn’t say what impact the mining will have on “Arevik” national park, Litchq and Tashtoun communities, it doesn’t mention the distance of the mine from the communities and “Arevik” national park, annual emission of inorganic dust into atmosphere, the amount of the water to be used and from where, the impact of the mine on the Meghri river, local flora and fauna, the impact of mining explosions, seismicity in the area of 8-9 magnitude, the number of working places and social programs to be implemented.

August 06, 2015 at 15:38