Hot Hearings around Gladzor Mine: Gladzor and Vernashen Again Voted against Mining (Photos)

Hot Hearings around Gladzor Mine: Gladzor and Vernashen Again Voted against Mining (Photos)


Gladzor and Vernashen Community residents, Vayots Dzor Region, voted against Gladzor polymetallic mining project - 28/2. 'Vayk Metal' LLC applied to the communities for the development of this mine to receive their primary consent. Reminder: 'Vayk Metal' LLC is trying to get the right to Gladzor mining in court from RA Ministry from Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources. The second court claim of 'Vayk Metal' LLC is directed against Gladzor Community Head with a demand to perform certain actions.

On 18 July the company attempted to get the consent of affected Gladzor and Vernashen Communities during the first public hearings for the closed development of Gladzor mine. 'Vayk Metal' LLC representative Aram Osikyan informed that the company intends to refuse from open-cast mining  and intends to proceed exclusively with underground mining. Aram Osikyan attended the public hearings without any documents bringing only the geological map with him. 'There isn't any project drawn up, as the company shall submit a new project for underground development. According to our estimates, maximum productivity shall be 40,000-80,000 tons per year. The industrial area shall be not more than 1 ha. To tell it more straightforward, we will finalize the project after reaching a consensus on mine development. The project will include both the community and statutory requirements,' Aram Osikyan said.

Laywer, 'Forests of Armenia' NGO Director Nazeli Vardanyan reminded that 'Vayq Metal' LLC is appealing in court the negative opinion issued to the first project by RA Nature Protection Ministry and the rejection issued by the Ministry for Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources.

'With these court proceedings you prove that the open mining project is still not a history. Two ministries have rejected you to have an open mine in this area and written what the hazards are and what consequences them to make their decision invalid. The court reuling has been appealed, i.e. you are in the process and you haven't given up the open mine,' Nazeli Vardanyan said,' You have also called upon Vayots Dzor Court that Gladzor Village Head has hindered your activities and now you have a ruling, which obligates to sign land use agreements with them, which is an illegal ruling reached with the violation of the law, as the village head can't make a unanimous decision. For these purpose, there is Aldermen’s Council, which will manage their property. You are fighting in two directions, and now you are misleading people.'

Aram Osikyan claimed that the open mine is already a history and mentioned that the expertise starts from the zero: currently we are discussing environmental and not legal issues,' Aram Osikyan responded.

'You are the telling the people, you are going to adhere to the provisions of the law, and now you tell me, it's not a legal issue. If you follow the law, please, answer and don't mislead the people,' Nazeli Vardanyan said.

During the hearing, questions were raised in regard with the water springs in the mine. According to the company representative, there aren't any water springs directly in the mine area.

Aram Osikyan  objected to Vernashen Community Aldermen's Council Member Gegham Margaryan: 'There are 17 springs and there is even one irrigation spring, which gives water of 28l/s. Just 250 meters downwards your drilling sites there is Ghazma capital water spring. You are driving these people to migration, let people live. Then he presented his estimates how much income the communities will lose in case of mining. Around 5800 ha of agricultural land areas above Yeghegnadzor, Vernashen, Malishka and Karmrashen communities will be destroyed. These 5800 ha of land areas give benefit of 1.8 to 2.8 billion AMD to the villagers. If a specialist comes, I will come and explain with a calculator. These mountains exist, they are used and will be used after us, but if you use these mountains, no one can use them further. Our agricultural production  is more profitable for us than your mining, it's more of higher quality, safe and healthy,' Gegham Margaryan stated.

The next question was related with the absence of uranium: Gegham Margaryan and Hakob Sanasaryan, Chairman of Greens Union of Armenia, presented the results of Gromov and Koltsov expeditions, according to which there is dispersed uranium in the area of Gladzor mine, which is safe in closed state, but if it contacts oxygen, it will go out, while uranium is considered to be the most hazardous heavy metal causing different diseases and destroying human organism.

Hakob Sanasaryan mentioned that the project should have been submitted in a complex manner, starting from the location of the mine and infrastructures, so as it would be possible to assess mining risks in a correct manner.

More details in the video.


15:39 July 20, 2017

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