A photograph taken during the concert organized by protesters. The young girl’s t-shirt reads, “Amuslar without mines.” (Photo: Tehmine Yenokyan)
It has been over 15 days that the roads leading to Amulsar are closed by residents of the Jermuk community and environmentalists from the surrounding region. Demonstrators have gathered as a display of opposition against a mine being developed near their communities that threatens their waters and their health, the region’s touristic potential, and the famous Jermuk brand of water.
Though Armenia’s prime minister Nikol Pashinyan has called on protestors to open the roads, they have not budged, and have instead expressed concerns that the prime minister’s team is misinformed on the situation.
Protesters setting up a camp at one of the entrances to mountain, blocking the road for construction of the new gold mine project led by Lydian International (Photo: Sofia Manukyan)
“During our last meeting it became clear that the new Minister of Nature Protection misinforms our government. During our meeting with the deputy prime minister Tigran Avinyan, he called the minister, who told him that experts changed their critical opinion of the mine site [from negative to positive] after a recent visit, but this simply isn’t true,” said one of the activists from Jermuk Aharon Arsenyan.
In an effort to appease citizens, the government announced that a working group would be formed to examine the operations of all mines in Armenia, starting with the gold mine project in Amulsar. Arthur Grigoryan, the newly appointed head of Environmental Protection and Mining Inspectorate announced on Facebook, “The group will examine the compliance of mines with laws and best standards and based on this, they will provide the government with factual conclusions… The group will include representatives of the communities, civil society, media, experts and specialists”.
Until then, however, the protesters remain firm about not opening the roads. They hope to prevent Lydian Armenia—a subsidiary of the parent company Lydian international, registered on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands—from carrying out construction.
Read more: https://armenianweek...test-gold-mine/