Who are the Russian owners of Armenian mines

zangezur Zangezur Mine, Armenia

By Ani Avetisyan

The mining industry plays a significant role in Armenia’s economy, accounting for over 30% of the country’s total exports. Armenia’s metal mines are the most lucrative, and the mining companies are one of the country’s biggest taxpayers.

But the industry is heavily politicized from the environmental side and dependent on foreign – primarily Russian – investors on the other.

The Russian business and political elite have had long-term interests in Armenia’s mining industry, and they’ve managed to take ownership of large portions of the country’s important mines.

The dependence on Russian investment has left Armenia’s economy vulnerable to Russian politics.

Disclosing ‘real owners’

The Armenian public gained more insight into the industry after Yerevan introduced the beneficial ownership register in 2021, which mandated that mining companies disclose the names of owners with over 10% control.

While the country is still implementing its beneficial ownership registry, the preliminary data shed light on the bigger picture.

As part of Armenia’s anti-corruption efforts, the mining industry was the first to disclose its owners. For example, Russian businessman Roman Trotsenko and his son, Gleb, have been particularly busy acquiring new shares in Armenian mines.

Trotsenko, 52, is the owner of the AEON group of companies, which has holdings in 14 airports, ports, and business centers in Russia and Europe. Forbes estimates his wealth at over 1.7 billion dollars.

The names of both Gleb and Roman Trotsenko are now listed as beneficial owners of numerous large mines in Armenia. Trotsenko’s most notable accomplishment in Armenia is the Zangezur copper-molybdenum combine, the country’s largest taxpayer.

The growing Russian influence in one of the most important sectors of Armenia’s economycreates challenges for Yerevan.

The largest taxpayer

In 2022, the 100 largest taxpayers in Armenia contributed over $2,3 billion to the state budget, with Zangezur Copper Mine accounting for over $350 million or approximately 16% of the country’s total budget.

In September 2021, Russian billionaire Roman Trotsenko bought the majority of the company’s shares and donated some of those shares to the Armenian government. Trotsenko’s takeover of the mine did not take place without controversy. The 70% stake in the mine had been frozen by the Armenian court at the time, with law enforcement raiding the offices of Zangezur Combine and filing tax evasion charges against management.

The court, however, unfroze the shares on September 30, 2021, and on the same day, Trotsenko acquired his stakes.

By October 2021, Trotsenko controlled 32% of the company, according to a public declaration. Significant changes took place in the company last summer: Trotsenko acquired new shares, donating more to the Armenian government, now around 6.8% of the whole. The Republic of Armenia now owns 22% of the company, while Gleb Trotsenko, Roman Trotsenko’s 23-year-old son, owns 40%.

The Armenian government has not yet given any substantial clarification as to why the Russian oligarch decided to give part of his shares to the government. The State Property Management Committee manages the country’s shares on behalf of the government.

Another Russian businessman and former health minister, Mikhail Zurabov, used to own 12.5% of the company. In October 2023, Zurabov was replaced by Italian and Swiss businessmen Ignasio Guaya and Carlos Cherp, who currently own Zurabov’s 12,5%.

The intermediate companies linked to the Zangezur combine are registered in Armenia, Russia, and offshore zones in Cyprus.


The Hankasar copper-molybdenum mine in Armenia’s Syunik region, operated by “LER-EX” LLC is a subsidiary of Zangezur Copper-Molybdenum Combine with almost the exact same owners of the mine.

The Republic of Armenia holds a 15 % stake in “LER-EX” LLC, while Russian businessman Roman Trotsenko owns 32.4 %. Former Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Zurabov has a 12.5 % stake, and Mirzaaziz Musakhanov owns 8 % of the company. Another shareholder, Roman Khudoli, holds 4.5 % of the company’s shares, along with Trotsenko, through their involvement in “Promishlennaya kompaniya”.

In addition, 4.5 % of the company’s shares are owned by the Russian citizen Mher Poloskov through his companies “STAR DUST” and “AMP HOLDING”.

GeoProMining Gold

GeoProMining Gold, owned by Russian businessman Roman Trotsenko, is a major investor in Armenia and operates two of the country’s largest mines: the Sotk gold mine and the Agarak copper-molybdenum mine. Additionally, the company owns the Ararat Gold Recovery Plant. Trotsenko co-owned the company with Simon Povarenkin until July 2021, when he purchased the rest of the company’s shares from Povarenkin, now owning 95.74% of the company.

According to the electronic register of Armenia, Geopromining Investment (SIP) Limited, registered in Cyprus, has been a 100% shareholder of GeoProMining Gold since October of the previous year. The company’s executive director, Roman Khudoli, is one of Trotsenko’s business partners. However, according to the declaration completed in January, Trotsenko’s son is registered as the beneficial owner of the company, controlling 76.6% of the shares. Another Russian tycoon, Mirzaaziz Musakhanov, controls 19.1% of the shares and is also a business partner of Trotsenko in other ventures in Russia.


The Agarak copper-molybdenum mine, the fifth largest taxpayer in Armenia, is also fully controlled by the Russian business elite and is an asset of Trotsenko’s GeoPromining Gold. Gleb Trotsenko, Roman’s son, owns 76.6% of the company, while Musakhanov controls 19.1%.

The general director of the company is Andrei Sinyakov, a Russian national.

Paramount Gold Mining

Paramount Gold Mining, another prominent mining company operating in Armenia, is also owned by Roman Trotsenko.

Trotsenko acquired his stake in July 2020 and controls 49% of the company through a series of intermediate companies. According to the declaration of beneficial owners, politician Tigran Arzakantsyan holds 29% of the shares, having recently moved to Armenia from Russia and is married to Natalia Rotenberg, ex-wife of Russian billionaire Arkady Rotenberg.

Trotsenko controls his shares through various companies, including “Start Aero” LLC, registered in Russia, “Nakilep Overseas Limited LLC” and “Geopromining Investment (SIP) Limited” registered in Cyprus, Karlouv B.V. and GPM Armenia, registered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. AEM GM S.A.R.L., a company affiliated with Trotsenko and Arzakantsyan, is registered in Luxembourg.


The Teghut mining company operates Armenia’s second-largest copper-molybdenum mine in the Lori region. According to the company’s declaration of beneficial owners, completed earlier this year, 25% of the shares are owned by Pavel Korichnev, a Russian national who resides in Armenia.

Norik Petrosyan controls the remaining 25% of the company, while the Russian VTB Bank holds 50% of the shares. The bank took over the shares through foreclosure last year after its owner failed to repay hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding debts.

The VTB bank lent Vallex Group, a private mining company, the bulk of $380 million the latter claims to have spent on building mining and ore-processing facilities at the Teghut deposit in the northern Lori province.

Over a thousand mine employees were laid off in 2018 as the owners faced financial hardship before losing control over the mine and suspending the operations.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the mine was suspended again last year as VTB faced Western Sanctions. The mine resumed its operations recently without much prospect and hopes for the future.


At-metals LLC was registered in 2012, and the following year, it was accused of illegally operating the mining complex of the Tashtun community of Syunik. The company submitted the latest declaration in early 2021, according to which 25.6% of the company’s shares belong to Russian citizen Sergey Mulin. The head of the company’s executive body is also a Russian citizen, Rostislav Presnov.

Mulin manages his shares at AT-Metals through two intermediary companies: Aviatechnology GAM CJSC and Aviatechnology Group CJSC.

Other shareholders of AT-Metals include former advisor to the Prime Minister and member of the former ruling Republican party, Hamlet Hovsepyan, and his two sons.

Sagamar and Molybdenum World

Sagamar CJSC, the company operating the Armanis mine in Syunik, has three Russian citizens listed as its beneficial owners in a declaration completed in the spring of last year.

Dmitry Korzhev and Dmitry Troitsky control the company through affiliated individuals. The financial control of the real owners is not disclosed in the declaration.

Stanislav Morozov is the executive director of the company.

Dmitry Korzhev and Dmitry Troitsky control Molybdenum World LLC, which operates the Dastakert copper-molybdenum mine in Syunik, with 70% and 30% ownership, respectively. The declaration of the real owners indicates that Eulacon Limited, registered in the British Isles of Man, is directly connected with the latter. The Russian businessmen indirectly participate in Global Metals (Arm) Limited, a company registered in Cyprus.

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