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Public hearing in Melikgyugh

In accordance with the Article 10 of the law of Republic of Armenia “On Environmental Impact Expertise” this year on March 28, public hearings of professional conclusion, public opinion, state agencies and affected community heads’ opinion over amended environmental part of the new tailing dump project of Tukhmanuk gold mine submitted by Mego Gold LLC were held in Melikgyugh village of RA Aragatsotn Region.
Let us remind that in May 2013, the Ministry of Nature Protection has given ESIA negative conclusion to the new tailing dump work project of Tukhmanuk gold processing plant submitted by Mego Gold” company.
This year, the company again filed an application to the MNP on the construction of the third tailings dam, but it is obvious that “Mego-Gold” LLC has started the process of the new project with violation, as the public hearings invited on February 10 by the company and on February 12 by the MNP were not held in the affected community, in Melikgyugh but in Yerevan office of the designer company and from the community had participated only the village head and two employees of the village council.

Residents were deprived of opportunity to express positions, points of view, opinions and suggestions related to this most important issue directly concerning their community, simply being uninformed about the public hearings.

On February 15, during the meeting held with the representatives of environmental organizations in the community, the village residents had organized collection of signatures requesting the Ministry of Nature Protection to hold a new hearing in their village where the community residents would be able to express their opinions on the draft.

On March 28, additional public hearings were held in Melikgyugh by the Ministry of Nature Protection. Hearings were attended by community residents, the village mayor, employees of the village council, deputy director of the ”Environmental Expertise” SNCO, representatives of the MNP and “Environmental Public Alliance,” “Eco right”, “Eco academia” NGOs, Coordinator of Aparan Aarhus Centre, independent and “Mego-Gold” LLC’s experts and journalists.

Environmentalists and experts presented various issues to the deputy director of the ”Environmental Expertise” SNCO, which were arisen due to the exploitation of the mine, processing plant and tailing dump, they focused his attention to the research results, according to which Tukhmanuk gold mine is considered as an essential impact factor for the lands of the surrounding areas, river basin waters, bottom sediments and ecosystems in general.

Residents had complained of tailing dump because of leakages, collapses, accidents, water contamination, soil fertility decline, and insisted that they not only against of the 3rd dump construction, but also the general operation of the mine.

Natalya Manukyan
Coordinator of Aparan Aarhus Centre
Tell: /374 252/ 6 23 60, /374 94/ 22 49 26
E-mail: info_aparan@aarhus.am, aarhusaparan@mail.ru
Translated by Anush Beybutyan