ArmInfo. Armenia's joining EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative) will become an additional indicator for the country, particularly in the context of attracting investments, Armen Stepanyan, Senior Manager on Sustainable Development at Lydian Armenia CJSC and member of multi-beneficiary group on introduction of EITI standard in Armenia told ArmInfo's correspondent on the sidelines of the first official session of the EITI working group in Yerevan on November 25.
According to Stepanyan "Lydian Armenia" welcomes the process of joining the initiative launched by the Armenian government. The Company's representative thinks that the joint trilateral platform created within the process of implementation of EITI standards in Armenia may become the best instrument for forming a dialog between the civil society, representatives of business and the country's government.
Besides, the expert thinks that implementation of the Initiative's standard will become an additional incentive for large international companies, which will be interested in increasing their investment portfolio, investing in the companies of Armenia's mining sector.
EITI is a coalition of governments, civil society, investors, and international organizations. It was established in 2002 based on the initiative of the then Prime-Minister of Great Britain Tony Blair during the conference on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The goal of the initiative is raising the transparency and improving the quality of the management in the extractive industry by publishing regular reports, adhering to standards, and strengthening the institutional potential. As global experience shows, the extractive companies win only as a result of the greater transparency thanks to the formation of equal and predictable economic relations.
A year ago President of the Board of Directors of American Chamber of Commerce in Armenia (AmCham), prominent economist Tigran Jrbashyan stated in an interview to ArmInfo's correspondent that the support to this initiative by the government of Armenia can bring forward really revolutionary changes in one of the most important industries in the country, namely the mining industry. "Armenia's joining the EITI in the capacity of the candidate can result in attracting foreign direct investment of around $200 million, since in this case the attractiveness of mining projects as investment projects grows sharply", Jrbashyan stated.
To note, Lydian Armenia is subsidiary of British Lydian International, the shareholders of which are institutional investors from the USA, Great Britain, a number of European countries, including IFC and EBRD. As of today the program on Amulsar gold deposit development is the biggest foreign investment. The capital expenses on construction work in 2016-2017 will total $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 (10 mln tons of ore). 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. Amulsar is the second largest gold deposit in Armenia.