RA Environment Ministry issued a positive conclusion to the preliminary environmental impact assessment application by "Hayasa Resources Corp" LLC for the geological prospecting of gold-multi-metal mining operations in Khankakutak and adjacent areas. Minister Hakob Simidyan signed it on January 22, 2023.
The requested area is included in the administrative boundaries of Urasar and Pushkino settlements.
Prospecting operations are planned to be carried out within 3392 hectares. They will search for gold, silver, copper, zinc and lead. Under the project, all surface excavations will be located at a distance of up to 32 meters from the areas of water protection zones. 20 wells with a depth of 200 meters will be drilled.
The 100% owner of "Hayasa Resources Corp" LLC, founded in 2021, is the Canadian public company "Fremond Gold Ltd", founded in 2017. It is run by Dennis Moore, a Portuguese national. He was also the 85% shareholder of "Mendia Resources" LLC, which, in its turn, received a positive conclusion for searching for polymetals in the Vardenis mining area of Vayots Dzor Region.
The residents opposed both these projects. The residents of Urasar and Pushkino expressed their views during the hearing held in October 2022, stating that they will lose their pastures and water resources.
The conclusion mentions about the negative opinions of the local residents, at the same time it is mentioned that the opinions of state institutions and professionals were also considered.
According to the conclusion, geological activities do not have significant effects on the environment and do not pose a direct threat to the environmental components and social environment of the region. The company project says:
The project says: "Red-listed species grow near the studied area, which allows us to assume that their growth is also possible in this area. They are Cerastium capillatum, Rhododendron caucasicum, and Fritillaria collina.
It is noted that 116 species of birds are found in the area, 20 of which are red-listed in Armenia.
There are also 4 red-listed species: Neomys schelkovnikovi, Gray bear (Ursus arctos), Forest cat (Felis silvestris), Asia Minor ground squirrel (Spermophilus xanthoprymnus). It is noted that a grizzly bear and a wild boar enter the area randomly.
Under the project, red-listed Dali lizard, the white-faced lizard, and the mountain steppe viper are also found in the area.
And among terrestrial invertebrates, the presence of the Black Apollo and the Armenian grasshopper is also possible.
It should be mentioned that according to Article 26 of Mining Code, the use of individual subsoil sites is prohibited if there are plants or animal habitats red-listed in Armenia on the plot located on the requested soil management site, as well as if animal migration routes pass through the given area.
February 01, 2023 at 13:06