No Solution Reached on Amulsar Mining As Long As Criminal Case Not Resolved: Environment Minister

No Solution Reached on Amulsar Mining As Long As Criminal Case Not Resolved: Environment Minister

"We have not reached the threshold of reaching any decision on Amulsar mining, whether it is reaching a solution or making a political decision, unless the criminal case is resolved and the objective reality has not been revealed," as RA Environment Minister of Romanos Petrosyan stated during a Facebook live press conference organized by the Azatutyun radio station on March 2. At the same time, the Minister mentioned that he is in favor of responsible mining taking into consideration the current affairs of the state and in terms of realizing the general potential of the state development.

“The Amulsar issue is currently suspended because ofo the existence of a criminal case under investigation of the Investigative Committee. I have said several times that I myself will rely heavily on the outcomes of the criminal case. If such objective facts are raised that question both the positive conclusion of the EIA expertise and the other institutional documents, permits that allow the operator to develop Amulsar gold mine, then I will intervene within the scope of my authorities and competences.

"And if we have proper state supervision, if there is no such objective reality revealed in the criminal investigation so as to have a clear issue of stopping mining, then the developer must develop that mine," the minister said.

Reminder: US $ 450,000 AMD was paid from the state budget to Earth link & Advanced Resources Development (ELARD) for the document expert assessment of Amulsar gold mining project appointed within the frames of the criminal case.

As a result of its expert assessment, the company identified a number of omissions and problems in the EIA of Amulsar project.

Following the publication of this conclusion, the issue of annulling the environmental expert opinion on Amulsar project was raised, which was suspended. RA Environment Ministry presented to the Chief of Staff of RA Prime Minister the position of the state authorized bodies, that of ELARD and TRC organizations, and the position of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia on Amulsar project documents. In that document, the omissions and shortcomings in the Amulsar program were presented with 13 points, including Point 13 of the document particularly says,

“According to the State Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee under the Government of the Republic of Armenia, as a result of the preliminary study of the submitted documents, the following conclusions were reached. Section 2.9 "Radiation Background" of EIA Report of Amulsar mine should be completely revised, taking into account the report on uranium prospecting held in the Amulsar area in 1952-54. If the mineral activity exceeds the value defined in RA legislation, its management must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of RA Government Resolution N 439 N dated on April 25, 2013.

With this document, it was proposed to Environmental Protection and Mining Inspection Body to carry out inspections, which didn’t happen either.

March 03, 2021 at 17:21