Meghri Residents Concerned with "Litchqvaz-Tey" Gold Mining Project

Meghri Residents Concerned with

EcoLur

'Litchqvaz' CJSC, a member of 'Polymetal International' PLC, plans to develop "Litchqvaz-Tey" gold mine. The public hearing of this mining project were held on 1 February 2017 in Meghri.
According to the project, the developer plans to mine in an underground manner. Annually 300,000 tons of ore will be mined, development term is 12.5 years. Ore processing on spot won't be carried out.

According to the project description, the mine contains gold, silver, pyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, galenite, arsenapyrite, tenatit, less bismuth telluride, tetradymite, bismutin. It's been assessed that one ton of ore in the first stage of mining will contain 4.39 g, silver – 31/96 g, copper – 0.33 g. The second stage mining will have gold concentration per one ton – 5.06 g, silver – 25.6 g, copper – 0.38 g.

'The discussion was quite active and constructive. The interest towards the business in hand was quite active. Many questions were raised, which referred to both environmental and social spheres.'

Reminder: recently 'Litchqvaz' CJSC, a member of 'Polymetal International' PLC, and Meghri community signed an agreement on socio-economic cooperation, in the frames of which in 2017-2018 37 million AMD will be invested into Meghri community. A kindergarten will be constructed in Vardanidzor area of Meghri community with these funds. The construction works will be launched soon,' the official website of Meghri Municipality says.

Water for mining will be taken from the Meghri River, which is the main source of supply for the communities in Meghri area. The project says that the estimated circulating water expenses will annually make up 3962 m3, estimated expenses of fresh technical water will annually be 42,000 m3. After cleaning annually 37500.0m3 industrial wastewater and groundwater will be dumped into the Meghri River.

A Meghri activist told EcoLur that mining contains high risks, 'Radioactive mass and heavy metals getting absorbed with mine water as a result of explosions will find themselves in the Meghri River. Though the company says that radiation background there is quite low, the mine has dispersed uranium and thorium, which is not useful for industrial purposes, but can be lethal for the area as a result of contacting open air. There is no guarantee there won't be any breakdown and polluted water won't get into the Meghri River, which supplies water to the land areas in Meghri area,' Meghri activist said. As the project says, conducted radiometric and ray-hygienic studies show that the natural radioactivity of ore makes up 12-15 microroengten/hour, which is lower than permissible standards. The possible magnitude of quakes in the mine area is 8-9.

16:22 February 02, 2017


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