"Vayq Gold" Intends to Mine Azatek Gold-Polymetallic Mine in Closed Manner

"Vayq Gold" Intends to Mine Azatek Gold-Polymetallic Mine in Closed Manner

"Vayq Gold" LLC has submitted a preliminary environmental impact assessment (EIA) application to Environment Ministry for expert assessment. The public hearing (second stage) will take place on July 22 at 12:00 in the administrative building of Zaritap Community in Vayots Dzor Region.

Under the project, Azatek gold-polymetallic mine is located in Vayots Dzor Region, in the upper reaches of Arpa Rver, about 3.4 km away from Vayq town. The company does not plan and the project doesn’t envisage ore mining in Vayq. According to the project plans, soil management will be carried out in Azatek and Zaritap communities. The mine area is located in the 8-9 magnitude seismic zone.

It is planned to operate the mine in a closed way, to extract 300 thousand tons of ore annually for 16.8 years.

Hrachya Avagyan, Doctor in Geological and Mining Sciences, had a publication in 2011 entitled "Ways and Prospects for Development of Mining and Metallurgical Industries in the Republic of Armenia", which says that Azatek gold-polymetallic mine has industrial C1 and C2 balance reserves as follows: gold - 17481,3 kg, silver – 393.6 tons, copper 13,200 tons, antimony - 5000 tons, 37.2 thousand tons of lead, 18.8 thousand tons of zinc.

48.3 tons of selenium, 10.7 tons of tellurium, 234.8 tons of bismuth, 97.7 tons of cadmium, 111.7 tons of gallium, 24.3 tons of arsenic, 356.6 thousand tons of sulfur were found in this mine.

According to the application, gravity + flotation scheme envisages extraction of metals from ore.

The extracted ore is planned to be placed in a temporary storage near the enrichment plant. However, the application does not specify the location of the enrichment plant, whether it will be built or the ore will be transferred to any existing plant. There will be no permanent storage of waste rock in the area of ​​the mine, they will be stored for a short time before refilling, and at the end of the mine operation there will be no dump in the place of empty rock storage.

Regarding the water consumption, the project states: "The production water supply of the facility can be carried out from large-diameter hydro-geological wells envisaged in the Arpa River. Drinking water is planned to be provided from the water network of Vayq Town.

In case of infiltration of mineral water into Arpa River, the chemical composition can be changed only in terms of sulfate ion extraction in mineral water up to its limit values, i.e. up to 20.6 percentage equivalent.

Monitoring measures are envisaged, in particular surface water, Arpa River, air and soil sampling. During the mine closure phase, monitoring will be carried out until the monitoring parameters stabilize, but not less than in the next 5 years after the mine closes.

"Vayq Gold" LLC plans to implement social programs, participate in the implementation of socio-economic development measures of the affected communities.

The company will have 61 employees in the operating mine and 207 in the mining spot, and priority will be given to locals when hiring for jobs.

July 14, 2021 at 16:11