86 residents of Shnogh Community, Lori Region, have addressed a letter to RA Nature Protection Minister Artsvik Minasyan demanding from the ministry to withdraw and send back Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Mining Expansion Project by 15 million tons per year submitted by “Teghout” CJSC.
The residents are demanding from “Teghout” CJSC to eliminate all the leaks and emissions, as well as their consequences, compensate the damage caused to the environment and affected communities. The copy of the letter has been sent to 'Center for Environmental Impact Expert Assessment' SNCO Director Vardan Sahakyan. The letter says, ' 'Teghout' CJSC has carried out public hearings on Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Mining Expansion Project by 15 million tons per year in Shnogh Community, Lori Region.
As a result of Teghout mine development by 'Teghout' CJSC, the Shnogh River and the areas belonging to us are regularly and continuously polluted with the leaks and emissions regularly causing us economic damage.
We have raised the matter of water and our soil pollution many times in front of 'Teghout' CJSC demanding from them to eliminate the causes of leaks and emissions and restitute our rights to have clean air, water and soil and to live in a healthy environment and to compensate all the economic damage having been caused to us. Nevertheless, the situation continues remaining the same and the leaks continue contaminating our environment.
The proof the aforementioned is that the Dutch pension fund, Pension Danmark, and EKF, Denmark’s Export Credit Agency still in 2016 reached a decision to demand back the loan of US $ 62 million granted to 'Vallex' Group via VTB Bank for the development of Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Mine. The loan must be returned back completely without any loss for the Danish parties.
On 24 August 2017 at the public hearings held 'Teghout' CJSC Deputy Director General Sahak Karapetyan didn't reject the fact of environmental pollution and promised to find a solution in the frames of a new project. Even the sampling carried out by the company in the agricultural land areas showed that our land areas have been polluted and the concentration of copper, cadmium, arsenic, zinc in the soil is higher than the standards.
We do claim that the compensation of damage caused to us and environment can't be within the frames of Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Mining Expansion Project by 15 million tons per year. This matter should be considered separately and regulated in the frames of the environmental legislation of Armenia.
We are demanding from RA Nature Protection Ministry to call back the project and obligate the company to eliminate leaks and emissions, as well as their consequences, to compensate the damage caused to the environment and affected communities.'
17:49 December 04, 2017