A protest against the position of the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the Republic of Armenia on operation of the Amulsar gold mine is taking place at Republic Square in Yerevan.
The political note of the “All-Armenian National Consensus” movement was read by the movement’s coordinator Artur Babayan and was addressed to the Government of Armenia and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The political note particularly states that the movement expresses its protest and discord to the Government of Armenia and the Prime Minister and that Lydian Armenia and the British Embassy in Yerevan had to be aware of the risks of operation of the Amulsar gold mine. The representatives of the movement also state that they don’t understand how the Government of Armenia is defending the interests of a private company registered in an offshore zone and putting the ecology and population of Armenia at risk.
In closing, the representatives demand that the government pays heed to the people’s voice, and if doesn’t, it will become clear that the several claims of the Prime Minister of Armenia that a revolution took place in Armenia and the power was returned to the people, do not correspond to the reality.
The representatives handed the political note over to the government.
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.