"GeoProMining Gold" Intends to Increase Productivity of Ararat Gold Extraction Plant: Issues with Tailing Dump Unclear

"GeoProMining Gold" Intends to Increase Productivity of Ararat Gold Extraction Plant: Issues with Tailing Dump Unclear

GeoProMining Gold LLC intends to increase the productivity of Ararat Gold Extraction Plant in parallel with the expansion of Sotq gold mine.

The company has submitted an application to RA Environment Ministry for an environmental impact assessment of Ararat Gold Extraction Plant, and its fourth public hearing is scheduled for December 23 at 12:00 in the Cultural Center in Ararat.

The capacity of Ararat Gold Extraction Plant is currently 1.0 million tons per year. The company intends to increase it to 1.75 million tons per year. Gold mining will be carried out by flotation. The gold content in the concentrate is 40.5 g/t, the gold recovery from the concentrate is 81.0%.

Under the project, in case of operating at a capacity of 1.75 million tons, the tailing dump of Ararat factory will serve for 5.8 years. It is still unclear what solution will be found later.

The maximum design point of the tailings dam is 821.00 m. The tailing dump is filled to the mark of 814.50 m, the volume of which is 3.82 million m3. The residual volume of the tailing dump is 7.63 million m3 or 10.22 million tons from 814.50 m to 821.00 m. If the gold mining plant with a processing capacity of 1.75 million tons/year operates, the tailing dump will serve for 5.8 years.

"Before the volume of the tailing dump is depleted, it is planned to calculate the stability of the existing tailing dump, which will allow a final decision to be made whether to increase the volume of the existing tailing dump by raising the barrier or to build a new tailing dump nearby," the project says.

Under the project, the amount of waste generated by the extraction plant is 1.75 million tons per year, the amount of waste discharged to the tailing dump is 7.5 thousand cubic meters per year, the amount of emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere is 9,958 tons per year.

According to the source, the gold concentration of Sotq mine ore has decreased, which is connected with the extraction of the gabbro mineral body. "Increasing the productivity of the plant will allow not to reduce the number of employees (50 new jobs are planned), not to reduce transfers to the local budgets of the republic, to contribute to the solution of socio-economic problems of the population in the area.

In the case of the zero version, 462 employees as of today, an additional 50 employees will be deprived of their source of income," the project says.

Reminder: after the Artsakh war in 2020, a part of Sotq mine passed to Azerbaijan. In October 2021, GeoProMining Gold submitted an application to operate the mine underground after 2025, with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons. 

And until 2025, the mine will continue to be develop in an open way.

In Armenia, in addition to Sotq gold mine, Russian “GeoProMining Gold’ operates Agarak copper-molybdenum mine in Syunik Region, as well as the Ararat gold extraction plant. A few months ago, the company also acquired a 60 percent stake in Armenia's largest Zangezur Copper and Molybdenum Combine, 25 percent of which it donated to the Armenian government. 

December 22, 2021 at 13:38