Open Access to the Amulsar
Lydian International announced that during a live Facebook broadcast, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, of the Republic of Armenia stated that access to the Amulsar Project site should be restored and the protesters blocking access should open the roads.
The Prime Minister also stated that there is no legal basis on which the Government of Armenia can prevent Lydian from advancing the Amulsar Project in accordance with permits based on an existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) or require an additional EIA regarding the Amulsar Project at this time.
The Prime Minister noted that Lydian had affirmed expressly that it would comply with its EIA performance standards and then stated that stopping the Amulsar Project on environmental grounds would clearly illustrate a discriminatory approach regarding Lydian and not enhance Armenia’s ability to attract foreign investment.
The Prime Minister further stated that the Government’s Mining and Environmental Inspection Body will conduct an inspection to ensure that Lydian is complying with its permits, including that no changes have been made to the Project unless permitted under the EIA. The duration of the inspection could be as short as 30 days or longer depending on what is discovered.
Edward Sellers, Interim President & CEO of Lydian said, “Thousands of Lydian supporters welcome additional recognition from the Government of Armenia that there are no grounds to prevent Lydian from completing and operating the Amulsar Project. Lydian is looking forward to recovering and rebuilding its ability to complete construction and operate the Amulsar Project in accordance with its environmental performance standards.
We are also looking forward to establishing a fair and transparent participatory environmental monitoring arrangement so Lydian and all its stakeholders can have confidence in the results and take pride in our operations.”
“Lydian has agreed to share concurrent access to Lydian’s environmental monitoring apparatus and results going forward under arrangements to be finalized with the Government involving officials and community representatives. The Government has said it also intends to establish its own monitoring capabilities relating the Amulsar Project and to build out its environmental monitoring capabilities nationally.”
Mr Sellers continued: “During recent discussions with the Government of Armenia, Lydian confirmed that it will not be able to restart material construction on site until next April or May, although there will be some rehabilitation and earth moving associated with site recovery and remediation in the interim. We also confirmed that production is not intended to commence until Q4 2020 or Q1 2021, depending on how construction advances.”
“Lydian has been fully transparent in its environmental and operating practices. Those practices meet or exceed applicable international standards of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Lydian’s lenders and major shareholders have required an independent audit of Lydian’s performance to those standards and were found by Knight Piesold & Co. to be substantially compliant. Lydian’s environmental standards and practices were also fully disclosed and confirmed as part of the comprehensive EIA under which Lydian received its mining permits.”