On Continuous Works Aimed at Additional Assessment of Amulsar Gold-Bearing Quartzite Mining Project

On Continuous Works Aimed at Additional Assessment of Amulsar Gold-Bearing Quartzite Mining Project

RA Nature Protection Ministry


A contact was made with Swedich Geological AB (Sw. Ge. AB) (http://www.msgroup.net/page/swedishgeological/), Natural Resource Governance Institute (https://resourcegovernance.org/), which is a board member of the EITI (https://eiti.org/), RA NAS institutes, specialists, Bronozian and experts, diplomatic representations, state, international and public organizations.

*Upon NRGI team's proposal, RA Nature Protection Ministry established a contact with one of the leading organizations operating in the region, which is specialized in nature protection, management of water resources and hydrogeological studies. The organization representatives have visited Armenia, had meetings with RA Nature Protection Ministry and all interested departments of the Ministry, Head of RA Environmental and Mining Inspection Body, the representatives of RA Criminal Investigation Committee, Lydian Armenia Company, scientific, public organizations and initiatives.

* In parallel, the specialists of 'Environmental Monitoring and Information Center' SNCO of RA Nature Protection Ministry are carrying out sampling and isotope lab analysis of surface water, riverbed residues and soil in Amulsar zone in line with the requirements of TOR developed by the specialists of Institute of Chemical Physics of NAS RA ' TOR on Eco-chemical Monitoring of Amulsar Zone'. It is planned to send the samples for expert analysis to foreign labs.

* In July-August 2018, RA Environmental and Mining Inspection Body carried out inspections at Lydian Armenia CJSC. Inspection Head in his letter addressed to RA Nature Protection Minister on the findings of the inspection proposed the Minister to annul the state expert assessment opinion ԲՓ-35 issued to Lydian Armenia CJSC by RA Nature Protection Minister on 29.04.2016, nevertheless, so far Nature Protection Ministry hasn't received any substantiation from Inspection Body, particularly any act drawn up as a result of the inspection, protocols or process-related any document, despite the fact that the Ministry has addressed many letters to the Inspection in this regard. The only document the Ministry has on annulling the expert assessment is the letter of Environmental and Mining Inspection Head.

In this situation, RA Nature Protection Ministry has initiated an additional examination to validate the aforementioned information. For this purpose, a working group has been established by Minister's decree, which includes famous scientists in this field such as Marine Hovhannisyan and Alexander Danchenko who are the authors of the aforementioned plant and butterfly sections in the Red Book of Armenia. The committee has submitted a report and protocols, according to which no species of the aforementioned red-listed plant has been detected in the examined area and this examined section cannot be considered as a natural habitat of Apollo butterfly.

* Nature Protection Ministry has developed a whole package of documentation as a result of all these works and examinations, TORs, a scope of works, the participants have been provided with professional criteria and procedure, which have been submitted to the Armenian Government. 

* On 8 November RA Criminal Investigation Committee has announced a contest on the pre-qualification procedure of an independent international expert assessment of environmental and social impact assessment of Amulsar gold-bearing quartzite mining.  

November 12, 2018 at 15:20