“GeoProMining Gold” LLC is planning to increase the productivity of “Ararat Gold Extraction Plant” by 75%. On 23 July, public discussion of the initial assessment of the project on the increase in the plant productivity was held in Ararat Town.
““Armash” Rural Community Support and Development Center” NGO Chair Tigran MAtevosyan said in his interview with EcoLur that there wasn’t enough awareness-raising on the public hearings: the announcement was published only in the Republic of Armenia daily, which the villagers don’t receive.
According to Matevosyan, the representatives of environmental NGOs and impacted Surenavan, Armash, Yeraskh, Paruyr Sevak and Avshar villages were not present at the meeting. “In the surroundings there are villages, where the residents make use of Kakhanov irrigation aqueduct which flied near the cyanide tailing dump. The tailing dump is located in the administrative area of Ararat Village, while there is a water intake at a distance of 300 meters from the tailing dump. There have been cases when trees irrigated with this water have dried out, the representatives of Agriculture Ministry came and said some absurd stuff,” Matevosyan said.
According to him, the representative of “GeoProMining Gold” LLC mentioned in the discussion that they had carried out inspections and there was no harmful substance in the aqueduct of Kakhanov irrigation. The Ararat cyanide tailing dump is secure and covered with a layer of clay. According to Matevosyan, the problem is that environmental studies were not presented in the course of the discussions which would show how this enhancement of production will affect the environment and residential areas.
“Environmental Impact Expert Assessment Center” SNCO informed EcoLur that the project of initial assessment will be submitted for expert assessment in case there is the agreement of the community. Under our information, the residents of Ararat Town and Ararat Village gave their initial agreement to the planned activities.
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.
19:50 July 25, 2019