Armenia’s union of greens: If Teghut mine developed “dead zone” to occur around

Source: ARKA, 2007-11-07

If Teghut copper-molybdenum deposit is developed, all the adjacent territory will turn to a “dead zone”, Chairman of Armenia’s Union of Greens Hakob Sanasarian told journalists Tuesday.

Sanasarian pointed out that the development of the mine will practically kill the environment, particularly will completely destroy the natural systems of water formation and water supply.

“Particularly, Shokh River will suffer irreplaceable ecological damage as a result of emissions from the tailing dump of poisonous substances saturated with heavy metals fatal for human health,” Sanasarian said adding that it may cause outbreaks of many genetic diseases and stillbirth.

According to Sanasarian, the operation of mine will also cause damage to 700 hectares of forest; it will be impossible to restore the forest, with plants incorporated in the Red Book, during 25 years of the operation of Teghut deposit.

Sanasarian stressed the damage to be caused to flora and fauna by the huge production complex to be constructed in the territory. “Some populations may disappear not only in the region, but also in the adjacent area,” he said.

Earlier, a member of Armenia’s Union of Greens, member of “Orinats Erkir” opposition parliament group, member of the parliament commission for social issues, healthcare and nature protection Gurgen Sargsian said that organizing closed development of Teghut deposit will allow reducing the environmental damage in Armenia by 18 times. He proposed, instead of development of new deposits, to modernize the existing mining enterprises for more complete processing of ore and also utilizing it for high technology production.

In February 2001, “ACP” (Armenian Copper Program) Closed Joint Stock Company received a license for development of the deposit for 25 years. Investments of ACP in the project are to total $200-250mln, with about $50mln having been already invested.

According to preliminary estimates, the production output of Teghut deposit in the first operational year is to total 12,000 tons of copper concentrate. The ore reserve of the deposit is about 400-450mln tons.

“ACP” Closed Joint Stock Company, a member of Vallex Group, was founded in August 1997 on the basis of Alaverdy mining factory. The shareholders of the enterprise are Vallex F.M. Establishment (Lichtenstein) (80.74%) and the General Director of Armenian Copper Program Valery Mejlumian (19.26%).