On 11 September 2018, the Aldermen's Council of Shnogh Community reached a decision to sign the cooperation and partnership agreement between "Teghout" CJSC and Shnogh Rural Municipality, and the agreement was signed. During the meeting between EcoLur's team and Shnogh community residents, the latter said they had high hopes with this agreement, the performance of which would enable solving the environmental problems in the community land areas, setting guarantees to ensure the sustainability of the tailing dump, receiving financial support from the earnings of the company to be directed at the solution of the social problems in the community, as well as compensation of the damage they have incurred.
Currently, the company is in the process of transferring the property of "Teghout" CJSC to VTB Bank.
A question arises to what extent the expectation of Shnogh residents arising from this agreeement will turn real, as the process of property for debt has legal certainty at least in this term, particularly:
· Who will bear financial responsibility for the performance or default of the agreement clauses?
· Whether the VTB Bank will acknowledge the legitimacy of this agreement and to what extent it will perform the obligations undertaken by"Teghout" CJSC laid down in the agreement?
· Who will bear responsibility for natural or man-made disasters or accidents in this transitional time period?
· What will the role of the government be as a stakeholder of this process regulation?
As it is known, no inspections have been carried out in the course of the operation of 'Teghout' CJSC, as a result of which the company operated without any supervision and accountability before any governmental body.
"If so far we had hoped that the tailing dump will be repaired within 6-7 month and then Teghout mine will be redeveloped, now these hopes are gone as this situation is unclear: who will re-develop the mine, who will the mine be sold, whether it will be sold at all, whether or not the government will allow to sell it? The situation is uncertain for the mine,' Shnogh Community Head David Ghumashyan said in his interview with EcoLur.
Shnogh residents are also raising the problem of compensation, "Nowadays the VTB is accepting the property of "Teghout" CJSC so as to sell it. Whoever buys this property and owns it shall be aware that there are defaulted obligations in regard to environmental standards, financial compensation and caused damage. It's true that the court proceedings on seizing our land areas under eminent domain has been finished in the domestic courts of Armenia, but if the ECHR reached a decision, who will compensate this damage, this problem is hang out in the air... 423 household have been seized their land areas for Teghout mine, out of which 106 household have been sized their land areas in court. The loan of US $ 380 million taken out of the VTB Bank is less than the amount to be paid to us," Shnogh residents said.
This week it is planned to have a meeting between Shnogh Community Head and the temporary manager appointed by the VTB Bank to "Teghout" CJSC.
"At the meeting, my first question will be about having a clear answer who will be in charge of the safety of the tailing dump in this time period. We will demand from them to name a relevant structure, which shall control the safety of the tailing dump. And we should supervise them so as they properly perform their functions.
...The VTB Bank doesn't have a license for the re-operation of the mine, it shall be sold to a company which has a license to operate in mining sector. Whoever the mine is sold to, we must pose our demands and require the legal successor to accept all the obligations and to solve the problems unsolved so far," Shnogh Community Head said.
September 26, 2018 at 17:44