ArmInfo. Mining industry of Armenia has a real investment potential, Howard Stevenson, President & CEO at Lydian International Ltd, said at a sustainable mining business conference in Yerevan on November 16.
According to him the negative experience of soviet times is the main challenge the sector faces, unfortunately this problem has led to loss of public trust in the sector. As a result there is an opinion that mining industry poses threat to nature. But Lydian team on its own experience tries to show that it is not true and the mining industry may be safe for the country, Stevenson said. In order to ensure high-level operation of the mining sector in the environmental context, the set international standards should be observed, he noted.
Howard Stevenson recalled that quite recently the company has published the amended International Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the Amulsar program, which is a unique work in Armenia in the context of studying environmental and social risks. According to Stevenson the company has just launched the construction and deposit development and urged to give it a chance. If the chance is given the company will demonstrate that Armenia can have modern and safe mining industry, he mentioned.
To note, Amulsar is the largest industrial project in Armenia on gold deposit development, the cost of which is $370 mln. In August this year official ceremony of the project launch was held. The preparation work has been held since 2006. The term of operation is 10 years and 4 months, it is planned to get 200 thousand ounces of gold annually. The Amulsar project envisages creation of 1,300 jobs in the course of construction and 650- 700 jobs throughout the entire operation of the mine. The key shareholders of the company are IFC and EBRD. The company's shares are traded in Toronto stock exchange. Amulsar is the second largest gold deposit in Armenia.