Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Combine Operating Over 3 Months With Expired Water Use Permit

Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Combine Operating Over 3 Months With Expired Water Use Permit

EcoLur

On October 22, Water Resources Management Agency held a public debate on obtaining a new Water Use Permit (WP) for Teghout copper and molybdenum mine operated by Teghout CJSC.

Edgar Pirumyan, Acting Head of Water Resources Management Agency, said during the discussion that Teghout CJSC wants to reduce its water intake by 1.8 times with the new WP. The reduction in water intake is due to the use of new technology by the company.

According to the project submitted to the agency, the company plans to collect 296.5 l/s from the Debed River and 8.0 l/s water from the drainage system. The company is currently undertaking the necessary intake pursuant to WP N 000203 issued in 2015, while it expired on August 11 in 2018. On January 12, 2018, Teghout CJSC suspended the operation of Teghout Copper and Molybdenum Mine, which resumed on July 9 of this year.

It turns out that the company has been operating for more than three months without a water use permit and is illegally taking water from the following six points: Debed River - 512 l/sec, Shnogh River - 13.7 l/sec, drainage System - 8.0 l/sec, groundwater Lorut spring - 0.3 l/sec, Brakdzor spring - 0.08 l/sec and spring intake with 0.14 l/s. It should be noted that the company has been granted permission to operate the mine. on July 8, 2019 to produce 7 million tonnes of ore annually, implying an estimated 15-20 years of operation.

Note that this authorization does not have the necessary documentation, in particular a positive expert opinion on environmental impact assessment. In 2016, the company submitted a new EIA to the Teghut Copper and Molybdenum Mine to Ministry of Nature Protection, which was sent back, and the cuurent EIA expired in 2014.

According to the new Water Use Permit Draft, Teghout CJSC plans to divert wastewater to Shnogh, Kharatadzor and Pijut rivers at several points. Levon Galstyan, a member of the Armenian Environmental Front Initiative, expressed his concern that the wastewater would later flow into the Debed River via the Shnogh tributary.

Egdar Pirumyan responded that the company assured that it was committed not to exceed the limit of permissible contamination (PCL). According to Pirumyan, with the new WP they will oblige Teghout to install a biological treatment plant.

15:32 October 25, 2019


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