Society 16:50 06/03/2023 Armenia

Eco-activist says Amulsar gold mine project lacks broad public support

Environmental activist Levon Galstyan has joined the statement against the Amulsar gold mine development in which a number of NGOs and individuals laid out their demands to the government agencies.

Armenia’s Ministry of Economy, the Eurasian Development Bank and Lydian Armenia, a subsidiary of the U.S.-British Lydian International, on February 22 signed a memorandum for $250 million to complete construction work at the Amulsar gold mine and purchase the necessary equipment.

"I don't expect any response to the submitted demands. I take the demands as presented facts, if they are not fulfilled, I have the right as a citizen to take certain actions or to consider doing certain things," Levon Galstyan told Panorama.am on Monday, without further elaborating.

He claims thousands of people may be sharing their demands to cancel the mine operation plan.

“Since 2015, I have always fought against the mine exploitation as a citizen and a professional, I am ready to fight again now, but new tactics and strategy are needed," he noted.

A large number of Jermuk residents have joined the statement. Following discussions on the consequences of the Amulsar mine restart, Galstyan came to the conclusion that hardly 10-20 people in Jermuk would be in favor of its development.

"The town of Jermuk has always opposed it. In 2018 a signature collection was initiated and some 3,000 people joined it. Residents of the enlarged Jermuk community are against any metal mining project, it is not only about Amulsar. Residents from Jermuk, Gndevaz, Kechut and other settlements joined the collection of signatures. Despite all claims the project enjoys broad public support, I can state that its backers have made up only 10-20% of people in Armenia. Maybe it has a little bit increased after the war, but anyway we know how many people really support the project," Galstyan stressed.

The eco-activist claims the failure to attract funding to the project from a democratic country's bank testifies that the West “has finally realized it is not in their interests to go against the will of the people.”

He urges the unnamed Armenian bank which has agreed to provide $50 million for the implementation of the mining project to withdraw from it otherwise it would risk losing its investment.



Source Panorama.am
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