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“Vayq Metal” LLC to challenge the EIA expertise negative conclusion


Gladzor_villageLast year, “Vayq Metal” LLC has submitted the “EIA report on work plan of Gladzor polymetallic mine opencast development” to “Environmental Impact Expertise Center” SNCO aiming to receive a positive opinion.

It was planned to carry out opencast ore extraction, subsequently developing three small areas of the open mine while the central part of the requested Gladzor polymetallic mine is located 1300 meters away from the border of “Yeghegnadzor” state reserve and the closest endpoint of the open pit is 650 meters away.

The mine is located in Gladzor community of Vayots Dzor region of the RA, 6-10 km away are located Vernashen, Hermon and Shatin villages. Studying and analyzing the EIA report and design documents, amendments made on the basis of suggestions and comments during the expertise process, the results of public discussions held in Gladzor community of Vayots Dzor and other documents it was found out that according to the project about 0.6% of the ore reserves are designed to operate through opencast method and not a word about the remaining 99.4% of reserves, under the project was not carried out a complete study of hydrogeological conditions of the area of planned activity, there were no alternatives to the planned activity, their comparative characteristics and justification of the chosen option.
The community was opposed to the exploitation of the mine, arguing that for long-term development they choose agriculture, substantiating that as a result of the mine development will be damaged and polluted the water flows emerging from the mentioned area, possible negative effects will be posed to the surrounding environment, the health of the population.

Taking into account the above stated and other reasons, the experts of “Environmental Impact Expertise Center” SNCO issued a negative opinion to the EIA report on work plan of Gladzor polymetallic mine opencast development submitted on December 15, 2016 by “Vayq Metal” LLC. But it did not meet the company’s expectations, and the leadership of the company has judicially appealed the negative conclusion, referring to the Mining Code of the RA. While the basis for the expert conclusion was the RA Law ‘On Environmental Impact Assessment and Expertise’.

Note that in November 2016 “Vayq Metal” LLC has tried to drive heavy equipment into the area of Gladzor mine, meeting the protest wave of more than 700 residents of the affected Vernashen and Gladzor communities and not providing them with the necessary documentation required.

Up today there have been cases when civil society, represented by individuals or non-governmental organizations argued against the endorsement of any EIA package of a mine issued by the Ministry of Nature Protection, but according to the data of recent years, this is the first time that being challenged the experts’ opinion. Settlement details are available at the State assessment conclusions.

Mari Chakryan,
“Public awareness and monitoring center”
Translated by Anush Beybutyan