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Akhtala – Town on Industrial Wastes 11.04.2013

The environmental state of Akhtala Town and the Akhtala River flowing across deteriorates. The industrial wastes of the Akhtala ore processing combine get accumulated in the river. Neither the combine nor the state bodies are responsible for this pollution. As EcoLur’s video shows, the explanations of Nature Protection Ministry given to Vanadzor Aarhus Center don’t stand any criticism, as they don’t outline the source of pollution. Vanadzor Aarhus Center Coordinator Pertch Bojukyan, “Under the data of Environmental Impact Monitoring Center, copper concentration in the Akhtala River exceeds the standards by 800 times, while ammonium concentration – 400-500 times. All this has continuous nature. We have made a request about the situation and reasons both the Environmental Impact Monitoring Center of Nature Protection Ministry and Akhtala ore processing combine (Akhtala River flows along the enterprise territory)”. We received the reply from the ministry saying that they had carried out the monitoring of Akhtala ore processing combine and detected that the combine tails are not dumped into the river, as reverse cycle method is applied. The letter says the pollution probable occurs because of the closed tailing dumps and its state. EcoLur: Has the ministry taken any actions to reduce these risks? Pertch Bojukyan: “As far as I understand it was a case study to reveal whether or not the activity of the ore processing combine complied with the approved project. They conducted reclamation. At first, they left it for a while for the vapor to vaporize, and then trees were planted.” EcoLur: “The layer covering the tailing dump is very thin and tails are already visible. This is already not reclamation, there will be no results.” Pertch Bojukyan: “We can see how the river is dumped and the state of the tailing dump, but we don’t have any evidence to take any measures. When examinations are carried out, they announce everything to be normal.” As a matter of fact, the probable reasons maybe not controlling dumps into the river not to make the operating Tchotchkan tailing dump full, there can be leaks from the closed and so-called reclaimed tailing dump, there may be water from underground galleries, already closed down galleries of Akhtala ore processing combine etc. It should be noted that the tails gradually get collected in the land areas of Akhtala through the water. All the measures to reduce pollution get expensive year by year.

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