Shahumyan gold-bearing mine opencast development project in Kapan worked out by Gold Mining Company (owner - Dundee Precious Metals Canadian Company) entered into an active stage. The public hearings on this project have been appointed on 20 May. The public in Kapan is extremely worried and concerned about this matter. “The whole ore dust with heavy metals will sit on Kapan after explosions. Everybody will get sick with silicosis, including young children,” said 'Khoustoup' NGO President Vladik Martirosyan, 'we are not going to sit on our hands'. People must understand opencast development is not permissible, this will be the end of Kapan.' The Coordinator of Kapan Aarhus Center Ashot Avagyan said, 'The Armenian Constitution guarantees right to health and healthy environment, including us – Kapan residents.'
Kapan residents have first-hand knowledge about ore dust. Almost each family which has a person working in the mines has silicosis. While now the whole population in Kapan is endangered to get sick with this disease, and what for? For income made by a group of people?' Avagyan said.
The locals are well acquainted with Shahumyan Mine and are sure close development will ensure the company's profit and will preserve Kapan which is already on the verge of environmental disaster. 'Let the company get profit and not super profts at the expense of our health,' said Artur Ghazaryan, 'For Ensuring Environmental Security and Developing Democracy' NGO Legal Consultant.
11:59 May 05, 2011