ArmInfo. Lydian company?s formed consultative group, which works on Independent Advisory Panel monitoring of Amulsar, will gather 3 times a year, John Hacker, the Head of the group stated to ArmInfo during the discussions of the project on May 5, who visited Armenia for 3 days.
Besides, according to him, in order to coordinate the work of the group, consultations will also be organized online. The group's meetings will be held in closed session regime, and the statements of the group members consisting of 10 experts will be presented on the basis of consensual decisions. However, as the group leader noted, this does not mean that the results of the research will be closed to the public. "We are interested in ensuring that the work of the group is transparent to the public, all reports will be available to the general public," John Hacker said.
He added that the group will consider the opinions of not only specialists, but also activists from such spheres as nature protection, healthcare, social sphere, human rights. The main thing, as the head of the group stressed, was that all the members accepted the challenge.
However, he continued, there is no need to draw any conclusions after the first visit, we need time. It is important that the project, which is very important for Armenian economy, will be implemented in accordance to the best world standards. Members of the group have already visited communities where the program is being implemented. "It was interesting for me to listen to the opinion of one local resident that with the advent of Lidian in the community, the birth rate will increase, since men will not look for job on the side," John Hacker said.
According to the source, Lydian is pleased to announce the formation of an Independent Advisory Panel comprising Armenian and international environmental and social performance experts. The role of the seven member Panel is to monitor the Amulsar project, located in the Republic of Armenia, to ensure it fulfills its commitment to operate to best international sustainable mining practices. The Panel will be Chaired by internationally-respected responsible mining and conflict resolution expert Dr John Harker. The Panel members will convene regularly to monitor progress and to provide objective and authoritative advice on a range of sustainable development issues including environmental management; social management and public health; water management; biodiversity; waste and cyanide management; socio- economic development; governance; and human rights. The Panel will have direct access to the Company's Chief Executive. The Panel will interact directly with stakeholders of the Amulsar mine and will produce an annual public report on its activities. All members will be serving on the Panel in a personal capacity. Dr John Harker, Chairman of the Panel commented: "Our Panel is comprised of independent minded people fully able to look at complex situations and fashion clear advice. With it, the responsible progress which mining can offer, and Armenia needs, can be embraced with confidence. We are looking forward to the challenge." Howard Stevenson, Chief Executive of Lydian International commented: "Lydian is committed to developing and operating the Amulsar mine in accordance with internationally respected best practice standards. We have been leading exponents of Armenia's adoption of the EITI, we are committed to good international industry practices in all aspects of our operations, and will be implementing the International Cyanide Management Code. The establishment of an Independent Advisory Panel to objectively exercise oversight of our performance is a voluntary initiative that we committed to as part of our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment. We look forward to a positive and constructive relationship with the Panel, as we work together to maximise benefits for all project stakeholders."
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. In August 2016, the start of a project involving the construction and development of the field was launched. Preliminary work has been carried out since 2006. The operation life of the Amulsar will be 10 years and 4 months, annually it is planned to produce an average of 200 thousand ounces of gold (about 10 million tons of ore). Within the framework of the Amulsar program, 1,300 jobs will be created in the construction process (construction works will last about 2 years) and 650- 700 jobs throughout the entire operation of the field. The shareholders of the company are also international institutional investors IFC and EBRD. The company's shares are quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Amulsar deposit is the second largest in Armenia.