Aim of “Save Sevan” Initiative Is to Protect Lake As Strategic Object Needed for Country and Nation 17.08.2012
The society had decided to make an appeal to "Save Sevan” from destructive development of Sotq mine. Project risks were assessed as high and violating the provision of RA Law "On Lake Sevan In the course of "Sotq open mine environmental impact assessment” public hearings submitted in the project of Geopromining Gold Company (developer - "LERNAMETALURGIAI INSTITUTE” held on 16 August in Yerevan Aarhus Center.Geopromining Gold Company and "Lernametalurgiai institute” CJSC refused to take part in this discussion, "We were told they have followed legal requirements by requiring the project on 30 August in Sotq and don’t want to meet with society once again,” explained Yerevan Aarhus Center Coordinator Silva Ayvazyan. "Sevan” National Park and Gegharqounik Regional Municipality didn’t respond to this invitation, while the Scientific-Expert Committee on Lake Sevan Preservation hasn’t yet made its conclusion on this project. Thus, public opponents turned out to be only Arthur Mirakyan (Chief Specialist of Energy and Natural Resources Ministry) and Karine Movsisyan (Chief Specialist of Environmental Impact Expertise of Nature Protection Ministry).It was interesting to hear how Energy and Natural Resources Ministry representative let it slip that the crushing and screening plant is an ore processing plant, which should receive conclusion from environmental impact expertise. In her turn, Nature Protection Ministry representative affirmed that the crushing and screening plant is only a part of technical re-equipment of the mine, which is regulated by the license of Energy and Natural Resources Ministry. Reminder: Geopromining Gold Company and "Lernametalurgiai institute” CJSC deny that the crushing and screening plant is an ore processing plant, but a part of ore extraction.Thus, what people think about the crushing and screening plant. Levon Galstyan, Trchkan Civic Initiative, "The project says that low-grade ore is mined, which contains less than 1 gram of gold per one ton.” The aim of the project is to use low-grade ore, meanwhile the volume of wastes increase five times. And the crushing and screening plant is an ore processing link with the help of which less ore will be transferred to Ararat. This means that risks increase: ore crushed on the spot will be mixed with water, flow into Sotq and Masrik Rivers and through them into Sevan, and nobody can deny it.” Liana Asoyan, Gavar Aarhus Center Coordinator, "It’s clear for everybody that the crushing and screening plant is a separate production which needs to be considered separately. But they (the company) included the crushing and screening plant into master plan, as the company had no chances to have it passed as a separate project. Hasmik Aslanyan, "Shogher Association”, "The company project should be stopped unless new risk-free technologies are found.” Silva Adamyan, the Center for Bird Lovers, "I agree with Hakob Sanasaryan and think we have RA Law "On Lake Sevan” which bans this type of activity. That’s why the project should be turned down based on this law without any environmental impact assessment.” Inga Zarafyan, EcoLur, "The crushing and screening plant has already been located with the violation of laws, it’s illegal. The company should be examined, an act should be drawn up about violation and to send this act to the prosecutor’s office.” Karine Danielyan, "For Sustainable Human Development” Association, "We should stop the operation of the crushing and screening plant in any way.”The public representatives made a decision to initiate a process on protecting Lake Sevan taking into consideration the exclusive priority of Sevan as a strategic water object needed for country and nation.