Armenian Branch of Global Gold Mining Company
In January 25, 2013 an open letter was published on behalf of the Ecological Public Alliance (signatories Hakob Sanasarian and Silva Adamian) addressed to President of Global Gold Mr. Van Krikorian (the “Letter”). The claims made in the Letter, first of all, are false, and taking into account that the facts refuting such claims are well known and available publicly, moreover, such facts were provided to the authors of the Letter during the public hearings organized by the Company, and moreover, the claims in the Letter contradicted the statements made by the authors of the Letter during such public hearings (videos are available in the Internet), therefore, such claims are also fabricated. These fabricated claims, in addition, are intended to mislead the public and in no case are intended for the purposes mentioned in the Letter. By a simple definition, this Letter is a clear spam, that is, the Letter was prepared and disseminated not for the purposes provided in the Letter. The Letter, in addition, discredits its authors, regardless of the fact that one of the signatories told the representative of the Company over the telephone that the claims made in the letter shall still be investigated (that is, after dissemination of the Letter).
Contrary to the allegations made in the Letter, the Company never spread “distraction and pollutions of environment”. By the request of the Company, an independent expert organization constantly monitors the environment of the mining and adjacent areas of Toukhmanuk property, comparing the initial background with any possible alterations (monitoring including 21 elements). The results of the monitoring are provided to the community, to the interested and authorized institutions, and are posted in the Internet, for public awareness. During more than five years of mining at Toukhmanuk there was no material alteration of the environment from the background, let alone any “destruction or pollution of the environment”, and the authors of the Letter are well aware of this.
Contrary to the allegations made in the Letter, no water supply or drainage systems were damaged or destroyed. Instead, the Company built or renovated three water supply pipelines, all of which are used by the community (the Company does not use the pipelines it built or renovated). There were no any toxic waters leak from the tailings dam: the tailings dam is constructed duly and in accordance with all requirements, is maintained constantly and is seismically stable. Frogs and fish live in the pond of the tailings dam, no toxic chemicals were used during the treatment of the ore. Environmental monitoring includes the territory of the tailings dam, and thus, any release of any toxic substance into any water or any other environment is completely ruled out, there was no notice or indication of such during the most detailed environmental monitoring. Such claims could be attributed to a rich imagination of the authors of the Letter only in case their knowledge of the results of the independent environmental monitoring at Toukhmanuk was a fact. It is characteristic, for example, that during the public hearings organized by the Company the authors of the Letter never even hinted about any allegations they made in the Letter, and tried lecturing about taxing the tailings dams, recultivation methods, and other issues instead (videos are available in the Internet).
Previously, the authors of the Letter were insisting, with the same zeal, that due to mining at Toukhmanuk no children were born in the village during the year of 2012 (announcements are available in the Internet). In fact, 25 kids were born that year. Now, instead of apologizing to these kids or their parents the authors of the Letter are calling the parents “cowards” just because they refuse to reject the Company plans. In fact, the community members don’t even see any reason why the Company plans shall be rejected, and clearly understand the emptiness, artificial, self serving nature of intentions by some individuals, which, in addition, run contrary to community interests. People know how to read and simply understand that they are being tried to be fooled. Please, do not try to be fool the peasants just because you think you are educated. The peasants understand more about the environment than you do, maybe almost as much as the environmental specialists and scientists in the field would understand. In case you keep going with flat nonsense just as you do, people won’t believe not only you, but also your successors. The only result you reach by going this way is to make people associate the term “environmentalist” with a term “falsificator”, which, we believe, shall not be allowed.
Contrary to the claims of the Letter, as if the Company failed to implement any social program in the village, the Company, in reality, contributed more than 15 million AMD to various entities and bodies for implementation of social programs in the community, and paid more than 225 million AMD to more than 150 members of the community in salaries. It was just during the last public hearings when the Company representative, while responding to a question about the amounts spent on social programs and in local salaries responded that he would not like to speak or mention about these issues during public hearings as he deemed doing so was unethical. Now it is clear that the authors of the Letter thought the civilized answer by the Company representative might be used as a chance for making false statements. We are now forced to disclose the amounts spent on the social programs and salaries only considering the character of the authors of the Letter and only for the purposes to refute their false accusations. The Company will continue contributing for social programs in the community and will continue to rule out any “advertising” or any “bargain” by doing so.
Contrary to the claims in the Letter, only janitors and blue – collar workers, or the guards receive 0 a month for salary at the Company. Works requiring minimum specialties are paid for up to 150,000 AMD per month, works requiring some specialty (mechanic, driver, etc.) are paid for up to 300.000 AMD, equipment operators are paid for up to 350.000 AMD, geologists and mining engineers are paid for up to 700.000 AMD, lawyers and accountants are paid for up to 800.000 AMD, and so on. The Company still makes investments and has no profit.
Information about the salaries of the Company employees, including the management, is posted in the Company official website, and is public. We hope the authors of the Letter can find another company that does the same, and although it is clear that the authors of the Letter believe being transparent is punishable, the Company will continue to be transparent in its public disclosures.
The Company registered and paid the employees not attending work for different reasons, for long periods of time, with no salary cuts, and kept them on its books without firing them. There were people, of course, who tried to take an advantage, mainly due to wrong advice, sued and forced the Company to pay them for the time they did not attend to work. Most of the employees never did so, and we have an honor to continue our work with them. Naturally, there were times of financial trouble, due to which, for the knowledge of the authors of the Letter, the Company President Van Krikorian has gone the longest and is owed the most in salaries, to make sure other employees are paid in full. Those who know Mr. Krikorian would not be surprised at this. Selective use of the information publically disclosed by the Company, especially with such a hostile interpretation, does not and will not provide any credit to anyone. Salaries in civilized world are nominated considering the importance of the work of individuals, and also for the quality of the work of such individuals. By the way, we could not find any information in the Internet on how much those writing and disseminating false and spam letters are paid, how much those insulting community members, kids, their parents and employees are paid. After all, this is a simple ethical issue. The authors of the Letter left the Company’s proposal to join the environmental monitoring at Toukhmanuk unanswered, but tried to disseminate false and fabricated claims about Toukhmanuk, the Company and the community members for their own selfish ends. This behavior shall be unacceptable not only for any member of any NGO, but also for any citizen concerned over the environmental issues. For a comparison, please note that a tyrant living in a neighboring country behaves exactly the same way: he obviously doesn’t care about the truth, but makes false and fabricated statements (spam including) about us and our compatriots for his own selfish ends: he just wants to remain a tyrant. Do not follow his example, and let your purposes not coincide.
Finally, we apologize to the community members, employees and to all whom the authors of the Letter tried to insult. The fact of the Letter and the substance convinced us that our defending the environment and excluding any damage to it by the Company made someone too angry, unfortunately, to an extent of sending selfish and unsubstantiated “open letters” such as this one. As such, we apologize also to them for our failure to make their hopes and needs to become true by our failure to harm the environment, and we admit our guilt in full for doing so. We regret that we were so much useless to you in that regard, but we are afraid, also with regret, that you may find satisfaction elsewhere.
Global Gold Mining, LLC Armenia Branch
00:04 January 31, 2013