The residents of optimized Shnogh community, Lori Region, are demanding to compensate the damage they incurred with the Teghout copper and molybdenum mining project. They raised their demand during the discussion organized by Transparency International, which was entitled “Teghout Disaster: Which Is The Solution?”. In the winter of 2018, “Teghout” CJSC stopped the mining and terminated the employment agreements with 1032 employees out of 1190. The company has already confessed that the cessation of the mining is due to the technical safety of the tailing dump, the financial difficulties etc.
“Teghout used to be the cosiest and richest area in terms of biodiversity, now there are no traces of its former richness. One square meter of land area was purchased at the price of three boxes of matches, the people have been deprived of their land areas, irreversible damage has been caused to these land areas and now they can’t be used any more. What can we do now and who is going to compensate the damage that the people incurred?” Shnogh Ex Village Head Hovik Sahakyan said.
Teghout resident Raya Melkonyan mentioned that social tension already makes people emigrate. “We hope that we live in new Armenia and something will be changed: I hope a working group will be established, which will study the violations in Teghout and the damage caused to the residents,” Raya Melqonyan said.
Shnogh resident Levon Alikhanyan, whose land areas had remained under Teghout tailing dump, said the compensation is a priority for him. “The most important issue is the compensation of economic damage caused to the locals for those land areas, which were purchased at the price of half an ice cream under eminent domain and the compensation for those orchards, which were damage because of the leaks,” Levon Alikhanyan noted.
Shnogh Community Head Davit Ghumashyan agrees that the caused damage must be compensated, but he is against the closedown of the mine. He says they don’t have any other alternative, “If there is an alternative providing us with 1200 working places, I would be happy, but it would be hard in our case. The most important matter for us is that the mine operates adhering to the environmental standards. I think a committee should be established which will tell us what the correct operational mode is,” Shnogh Community Head said.
Reminder: upon Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s assignment, currently a professional working group is established, which shall carry out inspections and assessments in the metallic mines operating in Armenia, including in Teghout.
16:22 July 03, 2018