With today’s actions, the citizens fighting against the operation of the Amulsar gold mine are warning the Armenian government that they can stage work strikes, boycott classes, and close off streets, but they are not doing that, and giving the authorities time to resolve the matter. Shirak Buniatyan, one of the activists fighting against the operation of the Amulsar mine, on Friday stated this at the rally in Jermuk town.
Also, Buniatyan asked the schoolchildren to end boycotting of classes on September 23, and the people who have declared work strikes—to end them and wait for clear messages from the government.
As reported earlier, Jermuk residents and the opponents of the operation of the Amulsar mine had set this Friday as the deadline for the government to decide on this matter.
Several respective events are planned, also in capital city Yerevan, by all those who oppose the operation of this mine.
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.