A petition was been launched on Change.org platform to stop operation of Amulsar gold mine by Lidian Armenia. The authors of the petition claim that within only 10 years “Lydian International” company registered in the UK’s offshore Jersey island plans to: distort Jermuk’s environment and its reputation as a renowned health resort obtained during the past decades, endanger water resources such as Vorotan-Arpa-Sevan water tunnel, the biggest fresh water reservoir of the region- Sevan Lake, basins of Vorotan and Arpa rivers, Spandaryan and Kechut reservoirs as a result of acid mine drainage, erase Amulsar with its Artavazd, Tigran and Erato mountaintops which are habitats for unique and endangered flora and fauna as well as are an eco-migration corridor, bring an end to tourism and agricultural potential of Vayots Dzor region, distort Jermuk’s social fabric, deprive its female population of their current jobs in tourism, healthcare and agriculture sector and push them to the market of sexual exploitation, indirectly displace Gndevaz village, not far from which (just 1km away) the gold heap leach facility operating with toxic cyanide will be located on 120 hectares of land; as a result Armenia will be “presented” with 100 million tons of toxic waste rich with heavy and dangerous metals.
“Because of these and other disastrous reasons verified by specialists, we, the citizens concerned about Armenia’s and Earth’s ecology who protect their right to live in a healthy environment, send our clear message to the officials of Armenia, as well as miners with only monetary interests benefiting at the expense of nature and the survival of present and future generations – “No new mines in Armenia: No mine will be exploited in Amulsar”.
The authors demand from Armenia’s government to reconsider the permissions given to this project with obvious violations of laws and with no thorough environmental impact assessment and stop the exploitation process of Amulsar. They also demand from World Bank Group member International Finance Corporation to cease promised funding for the exploitation of the mine and discard its shares from the offshore Lydian International company that has no experience in mining industry. The also demand from Orion Mine Finance and Resource Capital Funds to cease their financing of Amulsar gold mine project.
“We are determined in our demands and we will not allow another mining disaster in Armenia and realization of this project that is a threat to ecology, economy and livelihoods. We are responsible for ourselves, for future generations and for nature,” reads the petition.