Sotq mine employees have addressed an open letter to RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Nature Protection Minister Erik Grigoryan.
'Several dozen concerned Vardenis residents have blocked the entrance to Sotq gold mine since yesterday and don't allow the operation of the mine. The citizens are demanding the mine operation to be environmentally friendly, as such operation, they have caused a number of environmental problems.
1. The soil taken out of the mine is dumped into the rivers flowing into Lake Sevan,
2. The groundwater flowing out of mine also flow into the rivers, which direct to Lake Sevan and irrigate all the land areas in Vardenis,
3. The explosions in the mine pollute all the clean air in Vardenis.
The workers working in extremely hazardous areas and conditions receive a salary of 100,000 AMD only, which is a penny against their work. In case of non-operation of the mine, the railway will also stop operation, as well as the gold smelting plant in Ararat, which will make 2000 workers unemployed.
For these very reasons, we are requesting and urging the relevant bodies to take urgent measures ad to examine the operation of this mine and to eliminate the drawbacks, to ensure the safety of the workers and to increase their salaries.'
Vardenis residents' letter addressed to Armenian PM and Nature Protection Minister was dispatched by 'United Youth League' NGO.
17:21 May 23, 2018