The Union of Greens of Armenia and the Public Environmental Alliance has circulated in social networks and press an open letter addressed to the Chairman and CEO of Global Gold Corporation Van Krikorian. The letter particularly says, “American “Global Gold” Corporation develops a number of mines in opencast manner in Armenia destroying and polluting the environment. One of these mines is Tukhmanuk, the main stock of its shares belongs to Van Krikorian. Meliq Village is located next to the mine. Water supply and drainage systems have already been destroyed in the territory. The quality of drinking water and irrigation water has deteriorated to a huge extent. Water will turn into not unsuitable one for use, if the volume of ore is increased. Two tailing dumps are located on the sloped of the gorge of Getik River. The content of the tailing dumps overflows to the Getik Rover, which further flows into the Kasagh, Hrazdan and Araks Rivers. That is, the operation of the Tukhmanuk undermnines not only Melik Village and neighboring villages, but the whole Ararat Valley. Toxic wastes and tails contain heavy metals, which find themselves in land areas and agricultural products through the irrigation system. In floured condition they are spread via winds polluting air, plough land areas, pastures and water springs. Moreover, at present Global Gold has proposed to construct the third tailing dump next to the first two ones. Meliq villagers state the number of cancer diseases has increased since the development was launched, especially the situation with women and children is rather serious. The villagers are defenseless in regard with the prevention and relief of serious consequences. During our meetings it became clear that many of us are afraid of pressure and can’t oppose to the construction project of a new tailing dumps and increase in ore mining.”
The village is in dirt poor. So far the company hasn’t implemented any social program in the village. While the villagers make income not from the mine, but from high-mountain meadows, black-earth soil which give magnificent opportunities for the development of agriculture. All this is under the hazard of complete destruction, which will turn into a huge loss for Armenia, and a direct way to migration for the villagers.
The operation of Global Gold resulted in the drastic reduction of crop productivity of agricultural land areas of Meliq village, restriction of pastures and decrease of incomes. Poverty is getting deeper and deeper. The Armenian peasant won’t be able to deal with his/her main activities when losing water and land areas and has to be hired for a low-paid work in mines.
The disasters caused by you are presented as investments into creating working places and charity. For comparison we would say that in 2009 your monthly salary was US $ 18,500, while US 0 designed as salaries for workers were paid with great delay after legal proceedings. And all this refers only to one mine, and what will happen, if the corporation reaches Hanqavan, Marjan and Getik, where there uranium and thorium. The Armenian Assembly of America, the member of which you are, deserves the honor and trust of the Armenian people. Nevertheless, all this is undermined by the activities of Global Gold. Receiving the powers of the administration of the National Institute of Armenia, you will have your contribution into the implementation of the Armenian Genocide. We, the undersigned, demand to immediately demand to stop the operation of the company in Armenia, unless the damage caused to Meliq Village and Armenia is studies and determined and consequences are compensated,” the letter says.
January 28, 2013 at 14:31