YEREVAN. – I myself have addressed to the members of the government the questions raised by the public in connection with Amulsar, and have received the same responses that you also have received. Lena Nazaryan, Vice President of the National Assembly (NA) of Armenia, on Wednesday told this to reporters in parliament.
“Those responses have been publicly presented,” she added. “Had that matter been at the NA, I would have responded to them. I have expressed my remaining concerns [about the Amulsar gold mine project] to my political team during discussions.”
In 2016, the American-British Lydian Armenia company began construction of the Amulsar gold mine, and announced it will invest more than $400 million in this project.
Environmentalists and activists, however, have kept the roads to Amulsar closed for a long time. They oppose Amulsar’s operation, and argue that the exploitation of this gold mine will have a disastrous impact on the environment.
In the current year, the Armenian government petitioned to the ELARD consulting firm of Lebanon for an expert conclusion on Amulsar. The government announced that it will make a final decision on Amulsar’s operation only after receiving this conclusion.
Subsequently, the ELARD expert conclusion stated that the environmental risks will be manageable if proper monitoring is carried out at Amulsar.
But following a recent videoconference with ELARD experts, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote on Facebook that several new circumstances had emerged during this videoconference, and which need to be investigated and assessed.
And he instructed the Ministry of Environment to decide whether the Amulsar gold mine project needs to undergo a new Environmental Impact Assessment.
But recently, Pashinyan stated that, at the moment, they had no legal grounds for banning the operation of the Amulsar mine.