The motorcade from Armenia’s Jermuk health resort town—and against the operation of the Amulsar gold mine—has reached capital city Yerevan.
The activists who have come from Jermuk are urging everyone to join Saturday evening’s march, and, also, stating that their fight is not political and that they will stop their campaign if the government decides against the operation of the aforesaid mine.
At 6:30pm, the “Amulsar without Mine” Initiative will commence a march in Yerevan—and in three directions.
The march is expected to conclude at Liberty Square, at about 8pm.
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 noted 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.