On July 6, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended a community meeting regarding the Amulsar Gold Mine, which is operated by Lydian International. Pashinyan attempted to mediate the meeting between the company’s management and workers, environmental activists, and residents of Jermuk and nearby villages.
For days, activists and residents of the village have been closing the road leading to the Amulsar Gold Mine, putting a stop to all operations at the mine. They are demanding an immediate halt to the exploitation of the mine, which they argue causes major damages to the environment and drinking water.
On Friday, Pashinyan asked the parties to provide the government with time to gather information and investigate the environmental standards by which the mine operates.
Following comments and questions from all side, the prime minister asked, “I understand it is not an easy situation to solve, but to solve we need additional information and time. How much time is acceptable for you to give us so we can reach a solution based on facts, not on emotion?”
The demonstrators agreed to this option, provided that the mine not be exploited during that time. Lydian International meanwhile, insisted that the mine exploitation works should continue parallel to the inspection.
CEO of Lydian International in Armenia said that everyday that the Amulsar Gold Mine doesn’t operate, it costs the company 500,000 USD. He warned that the international business community is watching these events and will evaluate if more investors should come in.
The parties failed to come to an agreement. The roads leading to the mine continue to remain blocked.
Armenia: before the goldrush, the Amulsar exploits