On 10 February the public hearings of the third (amended and supplemented) tailing dump for Tukhmanuk tailing dump in Aragatsotn Region were held in Yerevan on 10 February. Meliq Village Head Hakob Mkrtchyan said that the company should take the opinions of the villagers into consideration, that’s why the public hearings should be held in the village. Nevertheless, as a matter of fact, the public hearings for specialized opinions, public opinion and the opinion of the affected community are appointed again in Yerevan on 12 February, afterwards the Environmental Expertise SNCO of Nature Protection Ministry will issue its opinion on the tailing dump project. Probable the village head was not aware of it. And it’s hard to imagine that Meliq villagers will sum up their opinions during one day and will submit it to the hearings as a community opinion. The other violation is that the public hearings were not held and won’t be held in Meliq Village, as it is the only project affected community.
The competent body, Nature Protection Ministry, is entitled to decide the site for public hearings in case several affected communities are available. “The representatives of environmental NGOs again raised the question that a complex project should be submitted both for mine development, and factory, and the tailing dump, so as to be clear what kind of impact the whole process will have on environment. Ashot Poghosyan mentioned that they are acting in the frames of law. Tukhmanuk mine manager, Deputy Director in Administrative Affairs Tigran Fahradyan stated, “Orders are performed”. Nevertheless, he avoided further explaining what he meant by saying “order”. Instead, Ashot Poghosyan explained, “During 160 days, 220 articles, statements, films and different materials were published about the tailing dump project. We have never had so many publications in our country about any tailing dump. All our employees hold the same opinion,” he said.
15:55 February 11, 2014