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Public hearings on Armanis mine expansion and open pit mining
Public hearings were held in Armanis on March 24. The agenda included Armanis gold-polymetallic mine expansion to 70 hectares and transition to open-pit mining. Dmitry Ushkov, general director of the mining industry, presented the participants the importance of the mine expansion, involvement of the new employees, without which mine operatioan cannot be profitable.
Rostom Kocharyan, head of the Stepanavan citi municipality staff, noted that the mine has been operating over 10 years, but Stepanavan city didn’t receive even a cent from the environmental fees; Armanis mine only hurts Stepanavan city

tourism development, animal husbandry, and farming. The coordinator of Stepanavan Aarhus center added that the company operating Armanis gold-polymetallic mine regularly pollutes Dzoraget, sheds the toxic mine wastes in unforeseen places, even in school yard, where the children play on the dumps. The villagers complained that they revisit the earthquake shock during each shake. They argued that they need land to cultivate and keep livestock, and therefore they are not ready to provide their own lands to mining.

Karine Movsisyan and Vram Tevosyan, “Environmental Impact Monitoring Center” experts of the Ministry of Nature Protection, tried to calm the villagers and insisted that the mine distance from the village does not exceed the sanitary norms.

It was not yet clear during the discussion what scale of harm the mine can cause in case of new way and new extent operation. The experts claimed that under the new law, there is no need of the EIA document at this stage in response to the raised questions on the environmental impact.

Manya Melikjanyan
Coordinator of Stepanavan Aarhus Center
Tel. (+374) 93 315108
E-mail: manya_lore@yahoo.com
Translated by Marine Mazmanyan