Independent Expert Alexey Tarverdyan has given a positive opinion to the third tailing dump of Tukhmanuk gold mine; Nature Protection Ministry “Environmental Expertise” SNCO Director Andranik Gevorgyan made this statement when starting the professional hearings of the project. This fact raised concerns among present public representatives, “Mr. Tarverdyan, how many times you have visited the territory of the tailing dump and studied it to give such an opinion…” noted Silva Adamyan, the Coordinator of Public Environmental Alliance. “Teghout Support” civic initiative member lawyer Arthur Grigoryan qualified the hearings as illegal and left the hall. “The law has its own procedures, the previous was issued a positive opinion, that’s it, everything should be started from the very beginning,” he said, “If you insist, it’s not a new project, this discussion is senseless, because the project has already received a negative opinion.” Independent Expert Seyran Minasyan was the next to leave the hearings: “The analysis and assessment of environmental components haven’t been carried out” surface water, underground water, soil, bottom sediments, hydromophology… How do you insist this impact is available according to your data?”
During the hearings Hermine Poghosyan, Expert at Standing Committee on Agricultural and Environmental Issues asked the question, which was of interest to all: what was, eventually, the community opinion on this project?“MegoGold” LLC Director Ashot Poghosyan tried to answer this question, “…I will pass you the copies of community opinions.” “The villagers are demanding to hold hearings in their village… They haven’t even seen the project,” said Aarhus Centers Coordinator Mari Chaqryan and noted that the villagers had beaten an alarm to the Aarhus Center. In reply to the question why the community representatives hadn’t attended the hearings, Ashot Poghosyan answered this question as follows: “The village head called me that night and said that pressure was exercised on him and the community member for the purpose of hindering the activities of the company. He told me some names, but I would prefer you to ask the village head.” In his phone interview with EcoLur Meliq Village Head Hakob Mkrtchyan got surprised from EcoLur’s question, “Nobody threatened me and I didn’t threaten anybody…I told them to hold hearings in the village. Not only me, but all oppose to this project. Let them come and prove that the village won’t incur any damages and we’ll think what kind of conclusion we will come to. They explained with finding no convenient place for conducting the hearings. Let them stand our conditions for two hours, like we do.” Allegations were also raised. Watch more details in the video.
12:21 February 13, 2014