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Tense atmosphere in the municipality of Melikgyugh

On September 9, public debates were held on preliminary environmental impact assessment of the application on upgrading of Tukhmanuk gold mining complex, tailings dump’s protective fence and tailings temporary dry storage draft submitted by “MEGO Gold” CJSC at the village municipality of Melikgyugh of Aragatsotn region of the RA.
Participants were K. Movsisyan, chief specialist of the “Environmental Expertise” SNCO, T. Baghdasaryan, “Mego Gold” LLC’s administrative deputy director, the company’s designers V. Tevosyan and H. Nikoghosyan, H. Poghosyan, the NA expert, H. Mkrtchyan, head of Melikgyugh community, representatives of the H. the Ombudsman’s office, community residents, coordinator of Aparan Aarhus Centre, leaders of “Environmental Public Alliance” and “Greens Union”

NGOs, journalists of Shant TV and “Ecolur” environmental-informational NGO.V. Tevosyan, author of the project, director of “Konsekoard” CJSC presented a part of the draft which was related to the plant upgrading and construction of the crushing plant. According to the speaker the operation of the device will include environmental risks associated with the spread of dust arising during crushing and emissions, but the installed absorbing devices will devour the emissions dust and not allow it to spread around.

About the next question on the existing tailings dumps stabilization and construction of tailings temporary storage facility spoke designer H. Nikoghosyan. He noted that currently the three tailings are in a poor condition, collapses of fence were occurred.

According to designer H. Nikoghosyan and K. Movsisyan, chief specialist of the “Environmental Expertise” SNCO the reason of the collapse was that previously was carried out raising of one of the tailings fence without draft documents, without an insulating layer and a protective screen. To improve the current emergency situation is necessary to combine the existing tailings dumps and build a common one.

H. Nikoghosyan said that for storing the old tails is monitored two options: the first is to build a temporary storage on 3 hectares, in a height of 3 meters or to build a new tailings dam and to transfer the old tails there.

It should be noted, that the community residents and environmentalists were repeatedly addressing questions demanding clarification to speakers. Many questions were left unanswered; the answers of some questions aroused the residents’ anger and frustration.

Both the environmentalists and the community residents expressed their concern about the violations committed by “Mego Gold” LLC, failing to comply with its obligations and damages caused to the village.

To the expert of Environmental expertise SNCO were presented several challenges which are the result of the operation of the mine, the enrichment plant and the tailings dumps. The discussion was very heated.

Some of environmentalists and local residents claimed that they are strongly opposed to the submitted project and the mine operation in general.

The links of videos of public debates of Shant TV and EcoLur are below:

Natalya Manukyan
Coordinator of Aparan Aarhus Center
Tell: (+374) 94 224926
E-mail: aarhusaparan@mail.ru, info_aparan@aarhus.am
Translated by Anush Beybutyan