Statement

With this statement we express our concern on the current processes of exploitation of the natural resources in our country, in particular, the construction of Teghut ore enrichment plant and exploitation of copper-molybdenum mine.

It is evident that the operation of Teghut metal mine is more in the interest of the operating company and private people than that of the Republic of Armenia. Both the authorities of Armenia and we all are obliged to utilize the scarce enough natural resources of our country in an extremely efficient way.

We do not agree with the Armenian high ranking officials who are of the opinion that “the mines are for exploitation, and they need to be exploited…” We think that the mines are to be preserved as long as it is possible to preserve them. From this standpoint Armenia does not face a pressing challenge to operate Teghut multi-metal mine allowing to destroy more than 1000 hectares of forests with its flora and fauna, causing massive changes to the landscape of this region, changing the courses of rivers, and resulting in hazardous tailing dumps because of processing of huge amounts of ore and rock. In return for destruction of our natural wealth we are going to receive symbolic revenues in the state budget and some suspicious measures for compensation of the environmental damage. The wealth of Armenia’s forests is as valuable as they are scarce and continue to get scarcer even without the exploitation of that mine.

The inefficient and short-sighted utilization of Teghut multi-metal mine would have an irreversible detrimental impact on the environment and thus, be hazardous for the health of the residents of two dozens of settlements in the surrounding area.

We share our concern on Teghut multi-metal mine operation and join the claims of 9 dozens of NGOs addressed to the government of the Republic of Armenia. That is
· to take up hasty measures in order to suspend the already started activities in the area of Teghut copper-molybdenum mine;
· to carry out an independent environmental assessment with the participation of high-quality and renowned international experts in order to receive a more objective conclusion on the environmental impacts to occur as a result of Teghut mining.
We expect the attention of authorized public officials and institutions on the problem and on this statement. We are attentive to all possible responses and are ready to address the concerns in any format.

Levon Barseghyan,
Seyran Martirosyan,
Artur Sakunts

MCA-Armenia Program Stakeholders' Committee Members