MAC: Mines and Communities

Online petition seeks to stop gold project in Armenia

Published by MAC on 2016-10-06
Source: Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (2016-10-05)

Campaigners demand that International Finance Corporation cease funding

The Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) and other social organizations have launched an online petition to demand that the Armenian government  reconsider the permissions granted to the Amulsar gold project, which is located right next to Jermuk, one of the country’s unique health resort areas.

Meanwhile, Lydian International, the Jersey-based company that plans to operate the mine, has filed a police complaint against a member of the coordinating board of the PAEF.

To circulate this petition, here is the short link: http://chn.ge/2dnNKIr

See also on MAC: 2014-03-26 Can there be "responsible mining" in Armenia?

Stop Mining in Amulsar, Don't finance Lydian International

Pan-Armenian Environmental Front

http://chn.ge/2dnNKIr

September, 2016

Armenia’s illegitimate government, with direct support of private and international institutions that protect the interests of international capital, ignoring numerous alarms of citizens of Armenia, as well as their opposition and complaints, continues pushing forward a gold mining project right next to one of Armenia’s unique health resort areas – Jermuk – famous for its mineral waters.

Within only 10 years “Lydian International” company registered in the UK’s offshore Jersey Island plans to:

- distort Jermuk’s environment and its reputation as a renown health resort obtained during the past decades,
- endanger water resources such as Vorotan-Arpa-Sevan water tunnel, the biggest fresh water reservoir of the region- Sevan Lake, basins of Vorotan and Arpa rivers, Spandaryan and Kechut reservoirs as a result of acid mine drainage,
- erase Amulsar with its Artavazd, Tigran and Erato mountaintops which are habitats for unique and endangered flora and fauna as well as are an eco-migration corridor,
- bring an end to tourism and agricultural potential of Vayots Dzor region,
- distort Jermuk’s social fabric, deprive its female population of their current jobs in tourism, healthcare and agriculture sector and push them to the market of sexual exploitation,
- indirectly displace Gndevaz village, not far from which (just 1km away) the gold heap leach facility operating with toxic cyanide will be located on 120 hectares of land; as a result Armenia will be “presented” with 100 million tons of toxic waste rich with heavy and dangerous metals.

Because of these and other disastrous reasons verified by specialists, we, the citizens concerned about Armenia’s and Earth’s ecology who protect their right to live in a healthy environment, send our clear message to the irresponsible officials of Armenia, as well as miners with only monetary interests benefitting at the expense of nature and the survival of present and future generations – “NO NEW MINES IN ARMENIA: AMULSAR MINE WILL NOT BE EXPLOITED”.

We demand from Armenia’s government to reconsider the permissions given to this project with obvious violations of laws and with no thorough environmental impact assessment and stop the exploitation process of Amulsar.

We demand from World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation to cease promised funding for the exploitation of the mine and discard its shares from the offshore Lydian International company that has no experience in mining industry. We demand the same from the EBRD.

We demand from Orion Mine Finance and Resource Capital Funds to cease their financing of Amulsar gold mine project.

We are determined in our demands and we will not allow another mining disaster in Armenia and realization of this project that is a threat to ecology, economy and livelihoods. We are responsible for ourselves, for future generations and for nature.

To read more on Amulsar gold mine project:
http://www.armecofront.net/en/news/amulsar-expert-opinions-analysis-and-articles-2/
http://ecolur.org/en/news/amulsar/

To circulate this petition, here is the short link - http://chn.ge/2dnNKIr

Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) civil initiative

The following organizations have joined so far: (organizations that would like to join can contact us at armecofront@gmail.com)

1. Greens Union of Armenia
2. Environmental Public Alliance
3. Environmental Public Society
4. Ecological Academy
5. The A.D.Sakharov Armenian Human Rights Protection Center
6. Environmental Sustainability Assistance Center
7. Jermuk Development Center
8. Public Diplomacy" Charitable
9. Center for Community Mobilization and Support
10. Green Party of Armenia
11. Biosofia
12. BLEJAN Environmental, Social and Business
13. Association “For Sustainable Human Development
14. Sustainable Development
15. Martuni Women’s Community Council
16. Haik Project - USA
17. moretreeslessassholes.org environmental website - Belgium
18. Asociación Armenios - Barcelona, Spain
19. Armenian Renaissance Diaspora Movement's New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Belgium chapters

This petition will be delivered to:

President of World Bank Group
Jim Yong Kim

Prime Minister of Armenia
Karen Karapetyan

President of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Suma Chakrabarti

Orion Mine Finance

Resource Capital Funds

CEO of International Finance Corporation
Philippe Le Houérou


Attempts to Silence Those Speaking Out About Threats Posed by Armenia’s Amulsar Gold Mine

http://hetq.am/eng/news/70752/attempts-to-silence-those-speaking-out-about-threats-posed-by-armenias-amulsar-gold-mine.html

September 15, 2016

The following statement has been issued by the Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF)

The Kentron District police of Yerevan recently called Levon Galstyan, member of the coordinating board of Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF), informing him that “Lydian Armenia”, the company that plans to operate the Amulsar mine, filed a complaint that he and his colleagues had threatened the company.

Now, the police are collecting material regarding this complaint. Levon Galstyan was “invited” to the police, but since there was no official notification, he refused to go.

As a reminder, “Lydian Armenia” company is 100 percent owned by “Lydian International Limited”, a British offshore company. Despite the negative opinion of most independent specialists and environmental organizations, and majority of the population of Jermuk and Gndevaz, Armenia’s government permitted the implementation of this disastrous project.

The mine poses unmanageable risks not only for the Arpa and Vorotan river basin, the Jermuk health resort, Spandaryan and Kechut reservoirs, but also for Lake Sevan – the main regional repository of fresh water. The plan is to process 10 million tons of ore annually using the toxic substance cyanide – only 1000 meters from the Arpa River and Gndevaz village.

Within the scope of international and local laws, the PAEF, together with other concerned organizations, specialists and individual, has organized and continues organizing initiatives to express its opposition to this unsustainable project.

Here, you can get acquainted with experts’ opinions, analysis, articles and some of the videos regarding Amulsar gold mine. http://www.armecofront.net/en/category/amulsar-2/

We would urge civil society to be more active in this issue and for human rights organizations to be more alert in protecting everybody’s rights.

Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) Civil Initiative

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