Tezhasar Nepheline Syenite Mine, Rejected Due to Environmental Risks, Back on Agenda

Tezhasar Nepheline Syenite Mine, Rejected Due to Environmental Risks, Back on Agenda

Tezhasar nepheline syenite mining, which was rejected due to ecological risks during the Soviet years, is again on the agenda. "Am Art Shin" LLC intends to reassess the reserves of Tezhaget nepheline syenite site of Tezhasar mine located in touristic Tsaghkadzor community, Kotayk Region. Based on the reserves confirmed by the results, a project will be drawn up for the extraction of nepheline syenites at Tezhaget site.

Geological prospecting is planned to be carried out in 2022-2025. The second public discussion of the project is scheduled for August 11, 2022, at 12:00, at the residence of the administrative head of Meghradzor settlement in Tsaghkadzor community.
Reminder: back in 2012, "Alumina Corporation" company wanted to develop Tezhasar nepheline syenite mine, which raised a wave of protest among the local population and society. At that time, EcoLur published a part of the interview given by Fadei Sargsyan, Academician of NAS RA (the Delovoi Express, 2005, N 21), where he said the project was turned down because of high risks and incomplete technologies. In his interview Fadey Sargsyan said, “At the suggestion of Academician Manvel Manvelyan, in the 60-70s of the 20th century a mining-chemical combine was built in Hrazdan Town for the processing of  nepheline and syenite and to get primary aluminum in a closed cycle. Over 117 million roubles had been drawn. The specialists proved if the combine started operating, the vegetation in a radius of 15-20 kilometers would be destroyed, whereas the combine was constructed in the most beautiful area in the republic, where up to 50,000 people went on their holidays per year.” As the same article says, Academician of Academy of Sciences of Armenian SSR Manvel Manvelyan proposed to use encapsulated burial of wastes, as in case of nuclear wastes.

In 2012, during the days of active discussions of Tezhsar project, Hakob Sanasaryan, President of "Greens Union of Armenia", made a statement stating the presence of uranium in the mine. “The problem of Tezhsar mine refers not only to aluminum, but also uranium, which is found in this territory, as the books and archives say, uranium accompanies nepheline-syenites, they do not exist separately. Starting from 1949 radioactive mines had been examined: Armenia has 4 zones with the reserves of radioactive mines, and Tezhsar zone is the second largest one containing 0.86% uranium, as well as thorium and 10-12 other elements and compounds,” Hakob Sanasaryan said.

There is no mention of uranium or radioactive risks in Tezhsar mine in the project filed by "Am Art Shin" LLC, according to which it is planned to obtain 500 tons of mineral from various binary sites of Tezhaget through trial extraction to obtain material raw materials necessary for the technological sample.

The area of91.74 hectares requested by the company for geological prospecting is located in Meghradzor settlement of Tsaghkadzor consolidated community. The requested area is located in the second seismic zone, which is characterized by an earthquake of magnitude 8-9, whereas the nearest landslide body is located 2.6 km away. 33 natural monuments are located at a distance of about 2 km from the requested area.

The project regarding man-made pressures on the environment during the implementation of geological prospecting says that dust and harmful gas emissions will be take place because of drilling, mineral exploration in the area and the movement of motor vehicles.

"AM ART SHIN" LLC was registered in 2014. RA citizen Hovhannes Barseghyan appears as the real beneficiary in the electronic register of RA government. He became the real beneficiary of the company in 2021, he is a 100% shareholder.

August 09, 2022 at 13:44