Law 20:32 13/06/2020 Armenia

Environmentalist questions Lydian Armenia’s ability to resume mining operations at Amulsar

Environmentalist, lawyer Nazeli Vardanyan insists Lydian Armenia has no possibility to resume its Amulsar mine operations despite the recent statement about its plans. In a recent statement, the company refuted circulated reports about the uncertainty around the future operation of the project.

The company had specifically pointed to Nazeli Vardanyan’s statements made at a parliamentary commission that Amulsar project would be probably removed from the balance of the company. “In this regard, we would like to state that Amulsar project remains in Lydian Armenia’s whole ownership, the company possesses all rights of the mine exploitation and plans to resume its operation to conclude the mine construction works,” the company had posted on its Facebook page last week. turned to Nazeli Vardanyan to provide comments on her remarks and Lydian’s reaction to them. Vardanyan informed the Armenian Environmental Front website has already published the May 4 ruling of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that would shed light on the fitter of the company.

“In December 2019, Lydian appealed to a Canadian court requesting protection from bankruptcy and extension of the company’s stay period under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”). The Court in its May 4 ruling removed the CCAA protection and enabled lenders to exercise any enforcement rights against the Company in accordance with various pledge agreements, among them are Sweden’s Export Credit Corporation and ING Bank acting as the latter’s financial agency, Caterpillar Financial Services. This implies return of equipment a or any other equivalent assets. This process is possible only during a bankruptcy proceeding,” the Armenian Environmental Front said in a Facebook post.

As Nazeli Vardanyan explained, Lydian made use of Canadian legislation and applied for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”). December was the deadline for them to pay all creditors and the deadline was not extended. “Through requesting protection under CCAA, Lydian sought to save time and recover either through obtaining new financial means, make financial changes or sell the mine. Its ordinary shares were blocked for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in that period and later in February were removed which meant they where unable to trade on TSX,” Vardanyan said.

Another fact speaking of the upcoming bankruptcy of Lydian, in Vardanyan’s words, is the recent decision of the company that it would no longer file financial reports. “Refusing to present reports means the company is moving toward a bankruptcy. That was my point that probably this is the end, and I do not insist it will take place today. There is a process. Until today, there has been a court decision granting them protection and time to get finances. The situation is now different since the protection is now lifted,” said Vardanyan.

The environmentalist insisted the company has no financial resources, and the citizens blocking the Amulsar road would hardly permit them to continue the works, noting even Jermuk office of the company has been shut down.

To note, a first instance court in Armenia has recently approved the defamation case from by Lydian Armenia against Nazeli Vardanyan. Lydian Armenian demanded from court to oblige Nazeli Vardanyan to publicly refute her statements and demanded a compensation. Vardanyan said she is set to appeal the ruling, adding she didn’t attended the hearings as had never received appearance notices and learnt about the hearings from reporters.

“At the initial stage, I sent a letter enquiring about the stages of court proceedings as I had not received any notices. I was invited to court. I attended only one hearing where I got the documents to get familiarized with the case and prepare for the next hearing. Then another hearing was held when I was abroad. I presented by tickets and petitioned to start over the preliminary investigation but received no response. The last hearing was n May and I had a temperature and it was quite risky for others to appear in a court. I filed a petition, called them. The hearing was held and a ruling was made without even listening me. I will definitely appeal the ruling,” Vardanyan stressed.

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