Public Hearings in Akhtala: How "Nahatak" Tailing Dump To Be Reclaimed

Public Hearings in Akhtala: How "Nahatak" Tailing Dump To Be Reclaimed

On February 9, the second public hearing on the EIA application for the reclaiming of “Nahatak” tailing dump was held in Akhtala.

The discussion was attended by Akhtala Community Head Arkady Tamazyan,
“Akhtala OPC” Director Samvel Khachatryan, tailing dump reclamation project developer “Akunk-Firma” LLC Director Hovhannes Nikoghosyan, Environment Ministry “Environmental Impact Assessment Center” SNCO Chief Specialist Yuri Papinyan, President of Alaverdi-based "Community Mobilization and Support Center" NGO Oleg Dulgaryan. The residents of the community were not present at the discussion.

2.4 years will be required to fully reclaim “Nahatak” tailing dump. Two options have been proposed for tailing dump reclamation. "The first stage of the first option is mining and technical reclamation, the second is biological reclamation, where the surface of the tailing dump is planned to be covered with a fertile layer of 20 cm of soil. The soil will be cultivated with appropriate vegetation specific to the area," he said. In the case of the second option, it is recommended to use hydroseeding instead of soil. "Artificial compost is created, it strengthens the surface, landscaping. The hydroseeding gives sprouts at once in two weeks. ", Hovhannes Nikoghosyan noted.

Addressing Akhtala community head Arkady Tamazyan, Oleg Dulgaryan said that the residents of the community are sought to be ensured in the next public hearings. "The participation of the community residents must be ensured. The residents of the affected community are interested in this issue. Maybe they also have proposals regarding the project," he said.

Some work is currently being done at Nahatak tailing dump. According to Oleg Dulgaryan, it is not reclamation, but raising barriers to operate the tailings dump. Oleg Dulgaryan asked the company representatives whether these works would not hinder the further reclamation of the tailing dump. Samvel Khachatryan responded: "We will move forward by drying layer by layer. We are solving two issues at the same time. Today we are taking the tails to the open pit, raising them, then restoring the relief.

In his conversation with EcoLur after the hearing, Oleg Dulgaryan mentioned that his main concern about the tailings reclamation application is related to the reclamation methodology, the elimination of the environmental and health risks that occur after the reclamation.

"We have sent our proposals, but they have not been accepted yet, or the company is not aware of those proposals. Reclamation should be carried out through measures that should reduce the risks, including social and health. "Measures should be aimed at compensating the population for the damage already caused to health and environment," he said.

February 15, 2021 at 17:07