Kapan, one of the most polluted towns in the country, is on the verge of ecological disaster. According to the assessment of the Center for Ecological Noosphere Studies of NAS RA, the water, ground and agricultural foods grown in the separate parts of the town are polluted. The ore-processing combine owned by Deno Gold Mining operates in Kapan: the solid waste of the combine is accumulated in the territory of the town, tails are in Gegharkounik tailing dump. Another tailing dump, Artsvanik, belongs to Zangezour Copper and Molybdenum Combine, but is located next to Kapan.
The detriment from the risks is not estimated, as the legislation of Armenia permits to pollute environment without paying damages. What do Kapan residents think over the ecological situation in their native town?
EcoLur: - Deno Gold Mining Company held hearings at Kapan Municipality on 27 April. Was opencast mining mentioned at the hearings? –Arthur Ghazaryan, Legal Consultant at Kapan-based “For Ensuring Security and Developing Democracy” NGO, “These hearings were held hastily. Nobody was able to examine the project within 2 days. But as I heard, the company considers this hearing to be held. But we think they were held with the violation of the law and should be organized once again.”
In regard with Geghanush tailing dump (developed by Deno Gold Mining) I would like to say that this issue refers not only to Geghanush village near which it is located, but also to Kapan...the barriers don’t comply with the standards, poor bottom isolation, which results in tails penetrating further and polluting underground sources,
The pollution with sewage in all settlements served by Armwatercanal, as the sewer flows directly into the river, in the particular case of Kapan into Voghji River. We have brought an action to court and all three instances of court reached a ruling in favour of us, i.e. Armwatercanal must perform its obligations.
And certainly the problem with uranium. Though the Minister insists that there is no uranium, we are convinced that the uranium program will be implemented, as the government decision wasn’t called back. The Zangezour combine is going to process 20, 22,30 million tons of ore per year. Nothing will remain for future generations. However, the state doesn’t benefit from this expansion, let’s just compare budget revenues. Naturally we don’t demand to close down the combine, but let them pay for wastes, Artsvanik tailing dump, but they pay nothing. In the light of such irresponsible attitude, we oppose to expansion of their operation, moreover, they do whatever they want, wherever and how they want…”
16:35 May 11, 2012