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What is the reason for suspension of Armanis gold-polymetallic mine operation?
Armanis gold-polymetallic mine of Lori region is located 7.5 km far from Stepanavan. Armanis gold-polymetallic mine has started to exploit since 2005, officially in closed manner.

But during the 10 years the mine’s waste were regularly found in Dzoraget, which is the main tributary of transboundary Debed River, in Armanis school yard, in the edges of roads and fields.

In order to to eliminate the mentioned violations, we have repeatedly raised the issue involving interested organizations, to find solutions achieving tangible results.

In 2015, the operating company: “Sagamar” CJSC, submitted to the environmental impact assessment the Armanis mine expansion project, which was endorsed, but the mine operation was stopped, leaving as a legacy contaminated with waste areas.

Since July 2015, the enterprise operating Armanis gold-polymetallic mine does not work, but continues to pollute the environment. The specialists working in the mine were reduced and dispersed, started to work in other mines, and carry out other activities. We have tried to get accurate information from various sources to determine the cause of the mine suspension, but have not received a convincing answer. It seems that the mine closure plan does not exist at all.

Meanwhile, according to the decree N 249-N of the RA Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, dated December 30, 2011, to the application of the mineral extraction right should be attached a mine closure plan, with its four components: physical closure, environmental rehabilitation, mitigation of manpower and financial guarantees. (http://www.arlis.am/documentview.aspx?docID=73737 ).

Among the public unintentionally raises several questions about which they are applying to Stepanavan Aarhus Center:

• What is the real reason of Armanis gold-polymetallic mine suspension, how long it will be continued?
• If the mine was closed, as many have said, which is not an official information, then “Sagamar” company operating Armanis gold-polymetallic mine, according to the RA law, should be passed the EIA, conduct public debates, which was not carried out.
• Where and how should be utilizied the wastes of Armanis gold-polymetallic mine?
• What will be the fate of Armanis gold-polymetallic mine?

The Centre has initiated obtaining official information on these issues.

Manya Melikjanyan,
Coordinator of Stepanavan Aarhus Center
Editor: Mari Chakryan
Translated by Anush Beybutyan