Tukhmanuk Mine Impact on MeliqGyugh Being Examined

Tukhmanuk Mine Impact on MeliqGyugh Being Examined

The experts of the Czech "Arnika" NGO, together with the Armenian "Center for Community Mobilization and Support" and "EcoLur" NGOs, are conducting research in the Melikgyugh settlement, Aragatsotn Region, to find out what effect the Tukhmanuk gold mine has had on the environment and the human organism.

The research is conducted within the framework of "Participation of civil society in the protection of chemical safety in Armenia" project with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The experts took test samples from the soil, water sources, and gardens of the residents of Melikgyugh in the areas adjacent to the abandoned tailings of the Tukhmanuk gold mine. Hair and urine samples taken from residents will also be investigated.

When "Mego Gold" company operated Tukhmanuk mine, some of the residents were engaged in mining activities. However, when the operation of the mine was stopped ahead of schedule, the residents faced a difficult social situation due to unpaid salaries by the company.

In 2016, the company was declared bankrupt by the judgment of Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative Districts of Yerevan, but the proceedings were terminated by the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The interruption of "Mego Gold" operations also caused environmental problems, in particular, the tails are not rehabilitated, and dust emissions continue from production landfills.

"When there was a gold mine, we had jobs, but it's an open mine, the tailing dump is not in good condition... The water came out of the tailing dump and mixed with the irrigation water," the residents said.

"Working for years in mining areas, we have received such results that prove the direct connection between environmental pollution and human organism pollution. Such mechanisms should be adopted that will protect people from the consequences of a polluted environment," said Inga Zarafyan, President of "EcoLur" Informational NGO.

"Our organization has been working continuously in Armenia for several years. Through our actions, we increase the mobilization and awareness of local residents about chemical safety, provide information about the risks that may occur in communities affected by heavy industry," Project Coordinator and representative of "Arnika" NGO Valeriya Grechko said.

"Having the findings of the research, citizens are able to protect their interests by demanding compensation, including for health problems. They are also able to force the companies to be responsible," Oleg Dulgaryan highlighted, President of "Center for Community Mobilization and Support" NGO.

July 19, 2023 at 14:27