"Lydian International" Company as represented by its subsidiary "Lydian Armenia" is developing the infrastructures for the development of Amulsar gold mine. The project-impact communities are Jermuk Resort Town and Gndevaz Village in Vayots Dzor Region and Gorayk Community in Syunik Region.
Jermuk Resort Town
Amulsar open mining will result in the pollution of the environment, deterioration of human health and living conditions, elimination of biodiversity and contaminaton of water resources.
Amulsar project risks are as follows:
• Pollution of Vorotan and Arpa drainage basins, Spandaryan and Kechout reservoirs and Lake Sevan with heavy metals and toxic elements, loss of mineral water in Jermuk because of explosions in the mine,
• Pollution of soil and agroproducts with heavy metals and toxic elements,
• Risks of gold extraction with cyanide,
• Loss of biodiversity,
• Loss of Jermuk Resort Town,
• Increase in the radiation background.
The company has submitted different EIAs (Environmental Impact Assessment) of Amulsar project in 2009, 2012, 2014 and 2016. If in the first three EIAs only small villages were recognized as impacted communities – Gndevaz, Gorayq, Saravan and Saralanj, where the public hearings were held, the largest community – Jermuk resort town where the impact of mining can have a fatal destiny, was included as an impacted community in 2016, where the local population hasn't been notified properly either about the project or have taken part in the public discussions. In its, turn Gndevaz Community has lodged a complaint to IFC/CAO - Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman, and EBRD project complaint mechanism(EBRD/PCM) with 210 signatures.
The company took into account the interests of only those land owners in Gndevaz Village, whose orchards were located in the area of Heap Leach Facility. The other villagers demanded risk insurance, but the company rejected them.
Public discussion of Amoulsar project in Gndevaz
The following fundamental rights are violated with this mining project:
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO LIVE IN HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT - Pollution of Vorotan and Arpa drainage basins, Spandaryan and Kechout reservoirs and Lake Sevan with heavy metals and toxic elements, the spread of dust saturated with heavy metals because of the explosions in the mine, pollution of soil and agroproducts with heavy metals and toxic elements,
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO CHOOSE ONE'S OWN ACTIVITIES - obstacles to agriculture, tourism and health resort business development,
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO HEALTH - contamination with heavy and toxic elements, risks of gold extraction with cyanide, increase in radiation background,
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO ACCESS TO INFORMATION - the absence of proper notification about public discussions in Jermuk Town,
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO PARTICIPATION IN DECISION-MAKING PROCESS - the absence of proper notification about public discussions In Jermuk resort town and Gndevaz Village,
• VIOLATION OF ACCESS TO NATURAL RESOURCES AND VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO SUSTAINABLE USE – PRESERVATION OF WATER, SOIL, FORESTS, FLORA AND FAUNA, ECOSYSTEMS AND LANDSCAPES - Article 7 of Armenian Independence Declaration “The national wealth of the Republic of Armenia - the land, the earth's crust, airspace, water, and other natural resources, as well as economic and intellectual, cultural capabilities are the property of its people.”
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO PUBLIC SUPERVISION - People have no right to enter the area of Amulsar project to carry out public monitoring,
• VIOLATION OF RIGHT TO DAMAGES - except for the landowners of apricot orchards taken for the Heap Leach Facility, the other landowners who incur damage because fo Amulsar mining haven't received any compensation and their demand to ensure them of risks, wasn't met.
Conference on Amulsar gold mining
Court hearing on Amulsar gold mining
The following actions have been carried out for the protection of residents' rights:
- Increase in awareness of green rights among the public sector by EcoLur Informational NGO carried out regularly since 2011,
- Legal consultation,
- Numerous letters and applications to RA President, Prime Minister, National Assembly, Aarhus Convention’s Compliance Committee, IFC/CAO - Office of the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman, and EBRD project complaint mechanism (EBRD/PCM)
- Court litigations against Amulsar Project,
- Numerous protest demonstrations,
- Hold conferences on Amulsar project risks.
16:16 March 29, 2018