At the public hearings on Tukhmanuk gold mine project held in Meliq Vellage, Aragatsotn Region, on 10 September the company director Ashot Poghosyan and environmentalists had an argument. As the environmentalists think, the most hazardous components are the tailing dump and the open pit. The submitted project map clearly shows the tailing dump, the territory of which is five times larger than the territory of Meliq village, two more communities are project affected, and a total of three villages have to be resettled. “Mego Gold” LLC director Ashot Poghosyan said, “We have outlined several times that the area of the tailing dump is 1.52 ha. The new tailing dump will be located next to the old one (and not in the area mentioned on the map).” Project developer company – “Akunq Firma” LLC Director Hovhanes Nikoghosyan denied the construction of such a tailing dump next to the village. “This map and tailing dump won’t be located here and we are not discussing it. If a tailing dump is to be constructed, we will have to investigate 3-4 areas. I think it will be located in the upper gorge of the open pit. We are not discussing it now. Investigations must be carried out and we will see together with the community, which area is more appropriate, as we can’t accumulate such volumes here,” H. Nikoghosyan explained. Nevertheless, his explanations didn’t satisfy anybody. “Who entitled you to an open pit? What kind of expansion are you speaking about now? What kind of reserves? Under which public right?” asked Greta Gabrielyan, Chairman of “Environmental Academy” NGO. “You have long addressed letters to competent governmental bodies with all your questions and you have received exhaustive answers to all your questions,” A. Poghosyan said, “We are discussing a project with the community, where we just expanded the volumes, take this discussion out of the community.” “Let the community know that you are acting illegally…please, record that you didn’t answer my question,” G. Gabrielyan said.
12:52 September 16, 2014