“Transparent and Accountable Mining”: Discussions in Lori Region

“Transparent and Accountable Mining”: Discussions in Lori Region

EcoLur

Leaks from metal mines, leaks from tailings dumps, areas contaminated with heavy metals, the impacted communities in Lori Region have carried out garbage removal, asphalting, providing schools and kindergartens with food as environmental and healthcare programs.
Environmental and health projects implemented in the communities of Alaverdi, Akhtala, Shnogh, Odzun in Lori Region have been studied by the Center for Community Mobilization and Support NGO within the frames of “Transparent and Accountable Mining” Project.
As a social contribution, Akhtala Mining Combine CJSC, operating Shamlugh Copper Mine, paid 40,000,000 in 2018 to Akhtala community. With this money garbage disposal was organized in Mets Ayrum settlement (360000 AMD) as a healthcare measure, additional food was provided to the pre-school educational institution of the settlement (220100 AMD).

The budget of Akhtala Community for 2017 allocated 8,372,000 AMD for environmental protection, which was completely spent on garbage disposal. The budget for wastewater disposal, environmental pollution, biodiversity and nature protection, environmental research and planning, environmental protection amounted to 0 drams. The line of healthcare expenditures was set at 0-0 AMD for 2016-2017, and it is planned 660 000 AMD for 2018, as project expert Silva Ayvazyan said.

According to the information provided by Teghout CJSC operating the Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Mine, in 2017 Teghout CJSC transferred 41,700,000 AMD to Shnogh community budget, which was spent on repairing 620m of Shnogh 3rd street, constructing a sewage line and paving the roads.

EcoLur expert Rosa Zulhakyan noted that under subsoil contracts neither Akhtala Ore Processing CJSC, nor Teghout CJSC, nor Multi Group Concern LLC have contractual obligations undertaken in the field socio-economic development impact on affected communities, whereas, according to the RA legislation, they are obliged to undertake socio-economic development.

EcoLur Expert Victoria Burnazyan made a report on "New Mechanisms for Increasing Transparency and Accountability in the Mining Industry". She noted that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a new process in Armenia, which creates an opportunity to increase transparency and accountability of the mining sector.
As a new format of transparency in the mining industry, Victoria Burnazyan mentioned the tool of public litigation. She presented the experience of public litigation. There were 5 public environmental trials in Yerevan that received their response from the relevant state departments.

This material has been prepared within “Mining-Impacted Communities – Full Participants in EITI Process'” project implemented by EcoLur with the USAID support within the frames of “Engaged Citizenry for Responsible Governance” project implemented by Transparency International Anticorruption Center.

This article is made possible by the generous support of the American People through the United States Agency  for International Development  (USAID). The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

November 15, 2019 at 19:36