ArmInfo. Claims of Miram CJSC for the start of geological exploration at the Shekabyur polymetallic deposit are illegal. According to the authoritative state structures of Armenia, Miram, which started work near the village of Ardvi, Lori region, does not have the necessary credentials.
To note, on the eve of the protest action took place in the village in connection with the company's intention to start geological and prospecting works. The villagers blocked the road, saying that the operation of the mine would damage the ecology of Ardvin, and would also endanger the numerous cultural and historical monuments that are on its territory.
In order to find out the true nature of the situation and the objectivity of the complaints of the villagers, ArmInfo turned to various state structures. So, the head of the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Nature Protection, Alla Sukiasyan, told the agency's correspondent that "Miram" CJSC was not given an appropriate environmental license, because the experts of the Ministry could not go to the village and carry out the necessary research because of yesterday's protest of the Ardvinians."
A spokesman for the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Vasak Tartosyan said that Miram CJSC applied to the ministry for obtaining a license for the mine operation, but so far it has not received it, because before that the Ministry of Nature Protection had to hold public discussions with the villagers, to carry out the relevant examinations and issue their opinion. "And only if there is a positive conclusion of the environmentalists, the Ministry of Energy has the right to issue a license to operate the mine," explained Tarposhyan.
As for the fears of the villagers about the possibility of destroying the cultural and historical heritage located on the territory of Ardvin, in case of exploitation of the mine, the head of the Agency for the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Ministry of Culture Armen Abroyan dispersed them. In a conversation with the correspondent of ArmInfo, in particular, he stated, the Agency did not give any permission to this company to work in specially protected areas where cultural and historical monuments are located. "Hence, the company does not have any right to implement works in the given locality. Without the appropriate permission of our agency, this is simply not possible," he assured.
Meanwhile, the head of the village of Ardvin Samvel Kirakosyan, in an interview with ArmInfo, said that he was not particularly inclined to trust the assurances of state structures. "The matter is that the villagers had to submit a pilot program for operating the mine, but no project was submitted," he said, stressing that the dialogue can only happen if the program is presented to the villagers and after approval. "The voice of the people, the voice of God, and if my fellow villagers oppose the opening of the mine, then I am against it," Kirakosyan said.
To note, Miram intends to carry out geological exploration works in the area of 140 hectares in the zone of rural lands and pastures during 2017-2020. In total, the area of the Ardvin pastures is 566 hectares. By the way, according to mass media information, the main shareholding of Miram CJSC is affiliated to Vahram Baghdasaryan, the head of the parliamentary faction of the ruling Republican Party, who is from Lori region. However, in a conversation with ArmInfo correspondent Baghdasaryan categorically denied this information. At the same time, he noted that he did not mind that the mine was exploited. "But if this goes against environmental norms and threatens to destroy the cultural and historical heritage of the village, then the exploitation of the mine is impermissible," he said.